Numerical modelling of tsunami generated by deformable submarine slides

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Title: Numerical modelling of tsunami generated by deformable submarine slides
Authors: Smith, Rebecca Claire
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Submarine slides can generate tsunami waves that cause significant damage and loss of life. Numerical modelling of submarine slide generated waves is complex and computationally challenging, but is useful to understand the nature of the waves that are generated, and identify the important factors in determining wave characteristics which in turn are used in risk assessments. In this work, the open-source, finite-element, unstructured mesh fluid dynamics framework Fluidity is used to simulate submarine slide tsunami using a number of different numerical approaches. First, three alternative approaches for simulating submarine slide acceleration, deformation and wave generation with full coupling between the slide and water in two dimensions are compared. Each approach is verified against benchmarks from experimental and other numerical studies, at different scales, for deformable submarine slides. There is good agreement to both laboratory results and other numerical models, both with a fixed mesh and a dynamically adaptive mesh, tracking important features of the slide geometry as the simulation progresses. Second, Fluidity is also used in a single-layer Bousinesq approximation in conjunction with a prescribed velocity boundary condition to model the propagation of slide tsunami in two and three dimensions. A new, efficient approach for submarine slide tsunami that accounts for slide dynamics and deformation is developed by imposing slide dynamics, derived from multi-material simulations. Two submarine slides are simulated in the Atlantic Ocean, and these generate waves up to 10 m high at the coast of the British Isles. Results indicate the largest waves are generated in the direction of slide motion. The lowest waves are generated perpendicular to the slide motion. The slide velocity and acceleration are the most important factors in determining wave height. Slides that deform generate higher waves than rigid slides, although this effect is of secondary importance for generated wave amplitudes.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Date Awarded: Feb-2017
Supervisor: Collins, Gareth
Piggott, Matthew
Department: Earth Science & Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering PhD theses

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