Modeling of Submarine Landslide-Generated Tsunamis and Its Application in Risk Mitigation and Hazard Management at Nuclear Reactor Sites, 20-R9725

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Principal Investigators
John Stamatakos
Debashis Basu
Kaushik Das
Saurav Biswas
Steve Green

Inclusive Dates:  07/01/07 – Current

Background -  One important class of natural hazards is destructive waves and associated flooding generated by tsunamis. The effects of landslide-generated tsunamis are complex and variable, and additional research is needed to develop a more comprehensive understanding of these waves as hazards. Though significant progress has been made in understanding the entire tsunami evolution process from wave generation to wave runup, a more realistic and validated simulation methodology needs to be developed for improved prediction of submarine landslide-generated tsunamis. Most of the tsunami models to date rely on shallow water equations.

Approach - Advances in computational fluid dynamics and parallel computing have led to the application of full three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations for tsunami simulations. However, modeling of landslide-generated tsunamis using the full Navier-Stokes equations presents a significant computational challenge because of the complex motions and shapes of the waves. These complexities, along with the three-dimensionality of the flow field, require alternative methods that can simulate these complex flows with greater accuracy and relatively fewer computational resources. As an alternative, recent advances in mesh-free particle-based computing methods such as smoothed particle hydrodynamics and discrete element methods may provide equally valid models of landslide-driven tsunamis, which are considered in the present research along with traditional Navier-Stokes equation based flow solution approach. The emphasis of the present investigations is to develop an integrated computational methodology using computational fluid dynamics with geological and geophysical information to evaluate tsunami hazards at coastal nuclear facilities from landslide-generated tsunamis.

Accomplishments - Project personnel carried out an extensive literature review regarding the different aspects of landslide-generated tsunami modeling. The program is presently developing the landslide-driven tsunami model using the commercial flow solver FLOW3D as well as a smoothed particle hydrodynamics-based Lagrangian flow solver.

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