Numerical models of tsunami sediment transport - Current understanding and future directions

Daisuke Sugawara, Kazuhisa Goto, Bruce E. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Researchers who study tsunami deposits share common ultimate goals of their work, which are to better assess the magnitude information of paleotsunamis and to contribute to the assessment of future tsunami risks. Numerical modeling of tsunami sediment transport is an important piece of interdisciplinary research that fills the gap between geological studies and practical utilization of tsunami deposits. Forward and inverse numerical models that address tsunami transport of sand and boulders have been developed over the last two decades. Forward models are capable of delineating the time evolution of tsunami hydrodynamics, sediment transport and the resulting morphological changes associated with erosion and deposition. Inverse models estimate tsunami characteristics, such as flow speed and depth, from deposits. Numerical modeling can be used not only to quantify paleotsunamis but also to enhance our understanding of tsunami sedimentology and hydrodynamics. To make progress towards the ultimate goal of improved tsunami risk assessment, development of an in-depth mutual understanding between modelers and geologists of the advantages, limitations and uncertainties in both numerical modeling and geological records is an important challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-320
Number of pages26
JournalMarine Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 1


  • Boulder
  • Numerical modeling
  • Sediment transport
  • Tsunami deposit


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