Applicability of calculation formulae of impact force by tsunami driftage

Yoshimichi Yamamoto, Yuji Kozono, Erick Mas, Fumiya Murase, Yoichi Nishioka, Takako Okinaga, Masahide Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004 triggered by the off Sumatra earthquake (magnitude “M” = 9.1), and the Great East Japan earthquake of 11 March 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku (M = 9.0), evidence the secondary damage from driftage collision due to large tsunami waves. To prevent this type of damage, the establishment of methods for predicting driftage movement and calculating the impact force by driftage is necessary. Several numerical models have been developed to predict the driftage movement of objects. Every year, these improve in accuracy and usability. In contrast, there are many calculation formulae for calculating the impact force. However, since there are considerable differences between values calculated using these formulae, the reliability of each formula is unknown. Therefore, in this research, one team of the committee on tsunami research of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers summarizes the main calculation formulae of impact forces that have been proposed until 2019. In addition, for each type of driftage (driftwood, containers, cars, ships), we compare calculation values of these formulae with measured data of large-scale experiments. Finally, we check the range of calculation values for each formula up to 15 m/s in collision velocity and clarify then the following facts: (1) In the case of driftwood, the formulae of Matsutomi, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are most reliable, (2) In the case of containers, the formulae of Matsutomi, Arikawa et al., FEMA and NOAA, Ikeno et al., and ASCE are most reliable, (3) In the case of cars, the formulae of FEMA and NOAA, and ASCE are most reliable, (4) In the case of ships, the formulae of Mizutani, FEMA and NOAA, and ASCE are most reliable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number493
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


  • Car and ship
  • Container
  • Driftwood
  • Impact force
  • Large tsunami
  • Tsunami driftage


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