Destruction patterns and mechanisms of coastal levees on the Sendai Bay Coast hit by the 2011 tsunami

Tatsuki Iida, Akira Mano, Keiko Udo, Hitoshi Tanaka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A mega tsunami hit the Sendai Bay Coast on March 11, 2011, overtopped coastal levees and intruded into far inland while sweeping houses, people and others away. Eighty percent of the levees, which rimmed the coast to protect the land from storm surges together with the wind waves were broken in various degrees of damage by the tsunami. The national and local governments decided to rebuild the levees to be durable even for mega tsunamis. This requirement motivates us to find the destruction mechanism of the coastal levees. We conducted field investigations and collected the tsunami records, aerial photos and tsunami videos. Especially, the video taken from the helicopter “Michinokugo” which flew along the Sendai Coast to the south during the attack of the tsunami’s leading wave enables us to see the breaking process. Integrated analysis leads to two step mechanisms of the destruction: the first step of breaking the upper structure of the levees by the surging bore of the leading wave and the second step of expanding erosion by the return flow concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research
ISSN (Print)1878-9897
ISSN (Electronic)2213-6959


  • Flow concentration
  • Levee breach
  • Local erosion


Dive into the research topics of 'Destruction patterns and mechanisms of coastal levees on the Sendai Bay Coast hit by the 2011 tsunami'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this