A New, Continuous 5400 Yr-long Paleotsunami Record from Lake Huelde, Chiloe Island, South Central Chile.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Philipp Kempf1, Jasper Moernaut2, Willem Vandoorne1, Maarten E Van Daele1, Mario Pino2, Roberto Urrutia3 and Marc A O De Batist1, (1)Ghent University, Renard Centre of Marine Geology, Ghent, Belgium, (2)Universidad Austral de Chile, Escuela de GeologĂ­a, Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales & Evolutivas, Valdivia, Chile, (3)Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile
After the last decade of extreme tsunami events with catastrophic damage to infrastructure and a horrendous amount of casualties, it is clear that more and better paleotsunami records are needed to improve our understanding of the recurrence intervals and intensities of large-scale tsunamis. Coastal lakes (e.g. Bradley Lake, Cascadia; Kelsey et al., 2005) have the potential to contain long and continuous sedimentary records, which is an important asset in view of the centennial- to millennial-scale recurrence times of great tsunami-triggering earthquakes. Lake Huelde on Chiloé Island (42.5°S), Chile, is a coastal lake located in the middle of the Valdivia segment, which is known for having produced the strongest ever instrumentally recorded earthquake in 1960 AD (MW: 9.5), and other large earthquakes prior to that: i.e. 1837 AD, 1737 AD (no report of a tsunami) and 1575 AD (Lomnitz, 1970, 2004, Cisternas et al., 2005). We present a new 5400 yr-long paleotsunami record with a Bayesian age-depth model based on 23 radiocarbon dates that exceeds all previous paleotsunami records from the Valdivia segment, both in terms of length and of continuity. 18 events are described and a semi-quantitative measure of the event intensity at the study area is given, revealing at least two predecessors of the 1960 AD event in the mid to late Holocene that are equal in intensity. The resulting implications from the age-depth model and from the semi-quantitative intensity reconstruction are discussed in this contribution.