Tsunami hazard evaluation for Kuwait and Arabian Gulf due to Makran Subduction Zone and Subaerial landslides

Panon Latcharote, Khaled Al-Salem, Anawat Suppasri, Tanuspong Pokavanich, Shinji Toda, Yogeesha Jayaramu, Abdullah Al-Enezi, Alanoud Al-Ragum, Fumihiko Imamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Given the recent historical disastrous tsunamis and the knowledge that the Arabian Gulf (AG) is tectonically active, this study aimed to evaluate tsunami hazards in Kuwait from both submarine earthquakes and subaerial landslides. Despite the low or unknown tsunami risks that impose potential threats to the coastal area’s infrastructures and population of Kuwait, such an investigation is important to sustain the economy and safety of life. This study focused on tsunamis generated by submarine earthquakes with earthquake magnitudes (Mw) of 8.3–9.0 along the Makran Subduction Zone (MSZ) and subaerial landslides with volumes of 0.75–2.0 km3 from six sources along the Iranian coast inside the AG and one source at the Gulf entrance in Oman. The level of tsunami hazards associated with these tsunamigenic sources was evaluated using numerical modeling. Tsunami model was applied to conduct a numerical tsunami simulation and predict tsunami propagation. For landslide sources, a two-layer model was proposed to solve nonlinear longwave equations within two interfacing layers with appropriate kinematic and dynamic boundary conditions. Threat level maps along the coasts of the AG and Kuwait were developed to illustrate the impacts of potential tsunamis triggered by submarine earthquakes of different scales and subaerial landslides at different sources. GEBCO 30 arc-second grid data and others were used as bathymetry and topography data for numerical modeling. Earthquakes of Mw 8.3 and Mw 8.6 along the MSZ had low and considerable impacts, respectively, at the Gulf entrance, but negligible impacts on Kuwait. An earthquake of Mw 9.0 had a remarkable impact for the entire Gulf region and generated a maximum tsunami amplitude of up to 0.5 m along the Kuwaiti coastline 12 h after the earthquake. In the case of landslides inside the AG, the majority impact occurred locally near the sources. The landslide source opposite to Kuwait Bay generated the maximum tsunami amplitudes reaching 0.3 m inside Kuwait Bay and 1.8 m along the southern coasts of Kuwait.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-152
Number of pages26
JournalNatural Hazards
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 1


  • Arabian Gulf
  • Kuwait
  • MSZ
  • Subaerial landslide
  • Tsunami hazards


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