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A Review and Database of Landslide Induced Tsunamis

Landslide induced tsunamis are a well-known phenomenon and have been reported many times in the international literature. The research has focused so far on the investigation of individual case studies and on modelling of tsunami waves but up to now there is no overview of all documented landslide tsunamis that happened in the past and what might be learned from those events.

The objective of this study is a review and comparison of the known case studies. A database of parameters that are relevant for the tsunami generation and propagation is established. Those include the properties of the landslide, the waterbody geometry and tsunami properties.

Particularly high waves can be triggered when slopes collapse and fall into waterbodies with little water volume like rivers, lakes or narrow bays that are widely isolated from the open sea. Catastrophic landslide tsunamis occur frequently in fjord landscapes with elongated and narrow waterbody geometries with steep and - due to deglaciation processes - instable slopes. Also, in seismically active regions where earthquakes can trigger landslides, many landslide tsunamis have been reported. A third scenario with an especially high potential for landslide tsunamis are reservoir lakes, where seasonal water level variations may cause slope instabilities.

The findings of this work will contribute to a better understanding of the generation of landslide tsunamis. They can be used in a next step to identify potentially endangered areas and to take preventive measures regionally, for example to set up monitoring systems on slopes at risk.


Katrin Dohmen1, Anika Braun1, Tomás Manuel Fernandez-Steeger1
1Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022