Run-up of tsunamis and long waves in terms of surf-similarity

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2008

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In this paper we review and re-examine the classical analytical solutions for run-up of periodic long waves on an infinitely long slope as well as on a finite slope attached to a flat bottom. Both cases provide simple expressions for the maximum run-up and the associated flow velocity in terms of the surf-similarity parameter and the amplitude to depth ratio determined at some offshore location. We use the analytical expressions to analyze the impact of tsunamis on beaches and relate the discussion to the recent Indian Ocean tsunami from December 26, 2004. An important conclusion is that extreme run-up combined with extreme flow velocities occurs for surf-similarity parameters of the order 3-6, and for typical tsunami wave periods this requires relatively mild beach slopes. Next, we compare the theoretical solutions to measured run-up of breaking and non-breaking irregular waves on steep impermeable slopes. For the non-breaking waves, the theoretical curves turn out to be superior to state-of-the-art empirical estimates. Finally, we compare the theoretical solutions with numerical results obtained with a high-order Boussinesq-type method, and generally obtain an excellent agreement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)209-223
StatePublished - 2008
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 46


  • tsunamis, surf-similarity, run-up, long waves
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