Tsunami intrusion in wide meandering channels: a Lagrangian numerical experiment

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Louis-Alexandre Couston and Mohammad-Reza Alam, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Among the many difficulties of tsunami forecast, wave runup on sloped beaches remains a major obstacle in numerical simulations. Traditional Eulerian models must adjust the fluid flow domain continuously due to the moving shorelines, which can significantly affect the computational cost and results accuracy. An efficient though uncommon alternative for accurate runup predictions still exists, consisting in using a Lagrangian model as recently shown by e.g. Couston et al. (2015) who studied the runup of landslide tsunamis in lakes with a non-dispersive Lagrangian model.

Here we introduce a fully-nonlinear Boussinesq-type model derived in the Lagrangian framework to investigate various cases of long-wave runup on curved beaches and meandering channels. The governing equations are expressed in terms of curvilinear Lagrangian coordinates, making the model suitable for accurate runup computations at shorelines of arbitrary geometry while retaining the inherent simplicity of a physical model discretized on a fixed and structured grid. We implement an elliptic grid generation algorithm to map the physical space to the computational space, and a high-order finite-difference scheme for time integration. The numerical model has a linear complexity in the number of unknowns when neglecting dispersive effects. We show that the formation of edge waves due to the sloped banks of a wide channel has a significant influence on the capability of a meander or constriction in reflecting the intruding tsunami, and we investigate the effect of dispersion.

Reference: Couston, L.-A., Mei, C. C., & Alam, M.-R. (2015). Landslide tsunamis in lakes. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 772, 784-804.