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Volcano-Induced Tsunamis: numErical Simulations and Sedimentary Signature – Vitesss

Submission summary

Tsunamis generated by volcanic eruptions and flank instability appear as neglected hazards. They represent 25 % of all the fatalities directly attributable to volcanoes during the last 250 years. Their frequency, magnitude, and the processes leading to volcanic tsunamis remain poorly understood. As the source mechanisms are varied (pyroclastic flows, flank failures, calderas…) and differ from earthquake tsunamis, volcanic tsunamis may have different characteristics, induce waves of different scales and the existing numerical models are less satisfying than for earthquake tsunamis. Thus, it is actually difficult to correlate the characteristics of the source (volume, velocity, density etc.) and the intensity of the tsunami (wave length and height, propagation distance etc.). Volcanic tsunamis are rarely included in existing volcanic hazard maps and no methodology exists in the literature for estimating tsunami hazard from volcanic activity. The scientific aims and overall methodology of the project are organised in four tasks: 1. Characterize source mechanisms of volcanic tsunamis for three case-studies (1996 phreatomagmatic eruption of Karymsky Lake in Russia, 1883 caldera-forming eruption with pyroclastic flows of Krakatau in Indonesia, and massive flank failures of Reunion Island in France). 2. Map and analyse in details the sedimentary signature – deposits - related to these tsunamis. Their significance, variability and spatial distribution remain poorly understood, and such studies at a regional scale were never realized. 3. Test different numerical simulations for each case-study, both by varying the inputs of the models and their theory, and calibrate them with field data. 4. Propose a methodology coupling the previous tasks in a GIS (Geographic Information System) in order to include tsunamis in volcanic hazard assessments, leading major changes in existing estimations of hazards related to hundreds of volcanoes located near coasts or lakes (and considering the increasing population density along coasts all over the world, the implications are considerable). The project will be helded in Clermont-Ferrand, by Geolab (UMR 6042 CNRS), in the framework of a rising research teams on 'Morphogenic crises in costal environments'. Project leader is Raphaël Paris (CR2 CNRS). All tasks will be animated by young scientists and all the members have previous experience and publications on tsunamis, their sedimentary signature, numerical simulations, volcanic eruptions and instability.

Project coordination

Raphael Paris (Organisme de recherche)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 148,938 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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