Modelling the financial value of the maroochy river to property values: an application of neural networks

International Journal of Geosciences, 2011, 2, 310-317
doi:10.4236/ijg.2011.23033 Published Online August 2011 (
Critical Factors for Run-up and Impact of the Tohoku
Earthquake Tsunami
Efthymios Lekkas, Emmanouil Andreadakis*, Irene Kostaki, Eleni Kapourani
School of Science, Department of Dynamic, Tectonic and Applied Geology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,Greece E-mail: * Received April 20, 2011; revised May 27, 2011; accepted July 7, 2011 Abstract

The earthquake of March 11 of magnitude 9 offshore Tohoku, Japan, was followed by a tsunami wave with
particularly destructive impact, over a coastal area extending approx. 850 km along the Pacific Coast of
Honshu Island. First arrival times and measurements and maximum height were recorded by the Japanese
monitoring system (wherever there was no failure of the equipment). The maximum run-up is well evident in
satellite images available through USGS, Google and other institutes. Moreover, personal observations of
Prof. Lekkas were made during a field survey in March 2011. The results of the study of the tsunami impact
and run-up show the variety of factors affecting the run-up, creating zones with similar phenomena, but also
specific locations where run-up exceeds by far the run-up zone maximum values. This differentiation, ob-
served also in the past by other authors, is here attributed to the general orientation of the coast, the distance
from the tsunami generation area, bathymetry offshore, the coastline morphology and land geomorphology.
In certain cases that funnelling and reflection effects in narrow gulfs parallel to the tsunami propagation vec-
tor were combined with narrow valleys onshore, peak run-up exceeded 20m, or even 40 m (Miyagi coastline,
Ogatsu, Onagawa, etc.).
Keywords: Tohoku, Earthquake, Tsunami, Run-Up
1. Magnitude and Intensity of the
slip. Apparently, the focus belongs to the off Miyagi area Earthquake
of subduction zone earthquakes. The main shock trig- gered a major tsunami that swept the Eastern shoreline of On March 11 2011, the tectonic boundary between the Honshu (main island). The main shock was preceded by Pacific and Eurasian plates, off the coast of Northeastern numerous foreshocks, the greatest of which occurred on Japan, ruptured in a great (Mw = 9.0) earthquake, at March 9, 2011 and had a magnitude of 7.5 [2]. The focal 05:46:23 UTC (Universal Time Coordinated), 14:46:23 mechanism of the earthquake is also consistent with a JST (Japan Standard Time) [1,2]. The hypocenter is cal- subduction zone boundary. A large number of after- culated at 32 km by JMA [2] and 24 km by USGS depth shocks occurred, four of which measured Mw > 7.0. The [1]. Centroid Moment Tensor analysis showed a reverse first of these aftershocks occurred quite soon (aprox. 30 fault type with WNW-ESE compressional axis, corre- min.) after the main shock and it measured 7.4, and three sponding to depth and orientation of the Japan Trench [2]. more major ones measured 7.7, 7.5 and 7.4 [2]. Main rupture was located in the North-East of the rupture A maximum seismic intensity of 7 (JMA scale) was starting point (shallower side of the hypocenter), and recorded at Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture. JMA in- maximum slip amounted to about 25 m [2]. The size of tensities of 6+ or 6– were observed in wide area along the main fault is estimated at 450 km length and 150 km width, confirmed by first day aftershock locations. Near- East Honshu coast, in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and source acceleration waveforms by National Research Ibaraki prefectures (Figure 1) [2]. The meisoseismal
Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention area extends within the tectonic boundaries of N. (NIED) [3], display two distinct phases of ground motion, American-Okhotsk plate, that is, on the upper block of which suggest the existence of at least two areas of large the rupture, as expected. Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG

E. LEKKAS ET AL. Figure 1. Intensity map for the 9.0 Mw event of March 11, 2011 (Data from JMA, map by authors). The Japanese intensity
scale is used here, so this does not correspond to EMS or Mercalli intensities but instead it reflects measured seismic accel-
eration distribution.
2. Tsunami Characteristics

A vertical deformation of 1.2 m was measured at Ojika peninsula. These areas suffered thousands of casualties Tohoku was hit by tsunami intensities ranging in the because of the tsunami inundation, since the tsunami worst cases from IX up to XI (or even XII) in the Papa- wave arrived at offshore Miyagi area first, combined dopoulos-Imamura (2001) scale [4]. That is, in the worst with the maximum observed subsidence. Even greater of cases (XII intensity tsunami) all masonry buildings uplift was observed at the easternmost part of the Eura- were demolished. From XI intensity up, floodwater sian plate, until the Japan Trench. Maximum uplift was backwash has drifted all debris, cars etc. to the sea and measured over 4.5 m, 20 km east of the epicentral area objects of all sizes were deposited as sediment into low (Figure 2).
lying coastal areas. This took place especially where JMA issued the first tsunami arrival, recorded at 14:45 backwash was obstructed by obstacles such as embank- JST at Kamaishi, Iwate prefecture, as a sea withdrawal ments, hills, forested areas, elevated roads etc. and in [6,7]. The fact that the first tsunami arrival is recorded areas that had subsided below sea level. simultaneously or even earlier than the earthquake waves Coastal subsidence due to earthquake deformation was themselves may be an indication of crustal deformation, measured by the Geospatial Information Authority of subsidence as a result of the earthquake rupture. Japan [5], showing a maximum of 2 m subsidence off- First actual tsunami arrival is recorded at Ishinomaki, shore and a maximum of 1 - 1.5 m onshore, namely at Miyagi prefecture, at 14:46 JST with a measured height Ishinomaki area, Miyagi prefecture and Ojika peninsula. Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG

E. LEKKAS ET AL. Figure 2. Tsunami run-up zones for the Tohoku earthquake 11-3-2011. Propagation vectors are marked with black arrows,
indicative peak run-ups are marked with red triangles and run-up values with black-yellow numbers. Contour lines show
crust uplift (red) and subsidence (blue) in meters. The maximum runup zones indicate areas where runup generally did not
exceed the indicated elevation, except for the cases of peaks, due to local conditions, discussed in the text.

The maximum tsunami height was recorded by JMA one kilometer inland, the tsunami height was measured at Miyako, Iwate prefecture, at March 11 2011, 15:26 to more than 10m (Figure 5).
JST reaching a height of 8.5 m. It is clear that tsunami Run-up is defined as "the maximum vertical elevation run-up reached a greater height, as concluded by field of a point on initially dry land that is inundated by the surveying and disasters. However, estimations of tsu- waves" [9]. The measurements in Table 1 show first
nami height are higher than the ones recorded by JMA. arrival and maximum height in Hokkaido Prefecture Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) reports inun- (Hokkaido Island north of Honshu Island) and Aomori, dation up to 14.8 m (Onagawa port) [8]. This is not so Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki Prefectures, surprising though, if one takes into account that almost along East coast of Honshu, from North to South [6,7]. A Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG
Table 1. First arrival times and heights and maximum measured heights of tsunami wave as recorded by JMA, from Hok-
kaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures.

First arrival height (m) Maximum measured height (m) Earthquake occurrence 11 March 14:46
Nemuro (Hokkaido Pref.) Tokachi (Hokkaido Pref.) Urakawa (Hokkaido Pref.) Mutsu (Aomori Pref.) Miyako (Iwate Pref.) Kamaishi (Iwate Pref.) Ofunato (Iwate Pref.) Ishinomaki (Miyagi Pref.) Soma (Fukushima Pref.) Oarai (Ibaraki Pref.) great percentage of Eastern Honshu low-lying coastal there are many areas where run-up exceeded the general areas were inundated by the tsunami wave. Ibaraki and maximum value by far. That is, in Miyagi, where maxi- Chiba prefectures were less inundated than the northern mum run-up was generally below 15 m, there were loca- areas (Chiba less than Ibaraki), mainly due to increased tions that it reached more than 20, 30 or 40 meters. It distance to tsunami generation area, less crust deforma- was observed that this happened in small valleys with tion and coastal orientation (Chiba). rather high slope angle, which are in fact the inland con- Inundation refers to the maximum horizontal penetra- tinuation of respective similar shaped bays and small tion of the waves in the direction perpendicular to the gulfs. In the following (Figures 3, 4, 5) the highest ob-
beach, during the flooding [9]. The identification of a served run-up locations are shown in Ogatsu and Ona- data point characterizing water penetration can be made gawa, where run-up exceeded 30 and 40 meters respec- either on the basis of the recognition of a specific wa- termark, such as a debris line deposited by the wave, either on land or in vegetation, or through personal re- 4. Discussion
ports from eyewitnesses. On occasion, it may be possible to determine neither run-up, nor inundation, but only to A large amount of data and thorough research on tsunami infer the local flow depth, usually from watermarks on generation, propagation and inland propagation derived the sides of walls or from debris left dangling on trees or from various researchers and sources, especially in the recent decades, and mostly after the Indonesian tsunami The tsunami generation area extended for several hun- of 2004. The latter, gave the opportunity of investigation dred kilometers along the uplift zone of the crust defor- along all kinds of distances from the source, along sev- mation area. The combination of uplift and subsidence eral kinds of shoreline and bathymetries and in areas zones instantly built up a potential difference that with a wide range of magnitudes for tsunami run-up, reached the maximum of 6.5 meters offshore, initiating inundation and depth. The parameters examined for their the wave. Run-up was zoned along the meisoseismal area implication on tsunami run-up for the Tohoku earthquake of Tohoku coast, creating five major zones. A maximum in this paper, have been individually or generally ana- run-up zone developed at Miyagi coast and South Iwate lyzed and reviewed by many for previous cases. Thus, coast (zone C), two medium run-up zones extended some of their conclusions can be compared to observa- along North Iwate coast and Fukushima coast (zones B tions of the present investigation. and D respectively) and two minimum run-up zones ex- Geist [9] summarizes some of these conclusions of tended at Aomori coast, and the coast of Ibaraki and previous investigations on the subject. Carrier [10] sug- Chiba (zones A and E). gests that the largest tsunami amplitudes in many cases are traced to the direct arrival of the tsunami broadside 3. Peak Run-Up Locations
from the rupture area, while, along shoreline segments oblique to the rupture area, the largest tsunami ampli- Field observations in Tohoku, and especially Miyagi, tudes are attributed to the excitation and propagation of Fukushima, Ibaraki and Iwate prefectures, showed that edge waves [10-13] (trapped long waves analogous to Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG
Table 2. Comparative data for the tsunami run-up zones after the Tohoku earthquake.
Tsunami propagation
Average max. Run-up
Distance from
Zone Area
vector vs. shoreline
Distance from
Uplift offshore
Run-up (m) peaks (m)
offshore uplift
onshore (m)
Subparallel – Diagonal S. Iwate, Miyagi Perpendicular – Figure 3. Three satellite images in subsequent zoom-in and a photo, from Ogatsu–Wan and Ogatsu town (Miyagi, zone C,
15m maximum run-up). Bathymetry and onshore geomorphology created funneling effects and wave reflection within the
canyon and narrow valleys enhanced the tsunami effects. As a result, peak run-up reached the elevation of 38 m. Not only did
the tsunami reach this elevation, but it arrived with several meters of height, performing a totally devastating run (Photos A,
B, C from Google Earth, photo D by E. Lekkas during the field trip to Japan).

Figure 4. Four satellite images in subsequent zoom-in, from Onagawa Wan and Onagawa town (Miyagi, zone C, 15 maximum
run-up). For the same reasons as for Ogatsu, Onagawa was hit by extremely disastrous tsunami run-up reaching 42 meters. In
the red circles (photos A, B and C) a 30 m long vessel is shown, at a distance of 750 meters from the coast (elevation 21 m).

Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG
E. LEKKAS ET AL. Figure 5. Onagawa town. At least 10m of wave height swept away the whole "corridor" within the narrow valley. The red
circle indicates the position of a van.

Love waves in seismology [14]). Ishii and Abe suggest
 Orientation of the propagation vector to the mean that phase and group velocities of edge waves depend on shoreline direction. Run-up was higher at areas where the shelf slope angle [15]. For irregular coastlines, edge the tsunami propagation vector was perpendicular to waves will be scattered and reflected and, where these the main shoreline direction. This took place at the different phases (trapped and nontrapped) interfere con- areas of South Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and a part structively and at antipodes, large nearshore tsunami of Ibaraki coast. Oblique shorelines were generally amplitudes can be realized. affected by lower run-up, and as it seems by the map Lavigne et al. [16,17] report that marine surveys after zonation, this parameter along with the distance from the 2004 tsunami refer that uniformity of tsunami runup the source created the first order effects, as far as indicates that there is limited co-seismic landslide pres- run-up is concerned, in this case, once the run-up ence involved. They conclude that local geomorphologi- peaks are observed within the broader zones mapped. cal configurations of the coastline and/or the seafloor  Distance from the tsunami generation area. Energy of were responsible for exceptional runup heights along the tsunami wave is consumed along the way, so the west coast of the Banda Aceh district (Indonesia). shorter the distance, the higher the tsunami energy, Pattiaratchi and Wijeratne (2009) [18] studied sea- and the higher the run-up. The shortest distances from level records during the Indonesian tsunami at stations the epicenter were from South Iwate and Miyagi, on Sri Lanka and Australia. They showed that similar while the shortest distances from the nearest uplift tsunami behaviour responds to similar local and regional area were from Ibaraki, Chiba and Miyagi. Of course topography, although the relative magnitude of the tsu- it is difficult to discriminate which of these two (ori- namis varies according to the differences of the source. entation or distance) was the dominant parameter, Synolakis et al. [19], Duong et al. [20], Jinadasa [21], once both distance and obliquity of shorelines are in- Parcharidis et al. [22] and Yeh et al. [23], among many creased laterally from the meisoseismal area towards others studied the Indian Ocean tsunami, reaching simi- north and south. lar results after investigations along the affected areas.  Bathymetry of the offshore area. Coastal geomor- phology, bathymetry and seafloor topography are be- 5. Conclusions
lieved to be the major influencing factors to deter- mine the severity of tsunami disasters, as well as nar- Tsunami run-up zoning and peaks are the result of a row continental shelves and canyons. On the contrary, combination of factors, summarized at the following: natural barriers and coral reefs protect the coasts from Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG
E. LEKKAS ET AL. tsunamis. In major canyons, funneling effects and over-, last accessed April 2011. lapping reflections further enhance tsunami height. [9] E. L. Geist, "Complex Earthquake Rupture and Local  Land morphology actually proved to enhance run-up Tsu- Namis," Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 107, in the same way as bathymetry. That is, the highest peaks of tsunami run-up were observed where narrow, [10] G. F. Carrier, "On-Shelf Tsunami Generation and Coastal short, funnel-like valleys reached the coastline with a Propagation, in Tsunami," In: Y. Tsuchiya and N. Shuto, direction parallel to the tsunami propagation vector. Eds, Progress in Prediction, Disaster Prevention and Warning, Kluwer Academy Publishing, Norwell, 1995. Run-up in these areas exceeded by far the zone maximum, due to the particularities of geomorphol- [11] J. D. Fuller and L. A. Mysak, "Edge Waves in the Pres- ogy. For instance, within the 15 m maximum run-up ence of an Irregular Coastline," Journal of Physical zone, altitudes of 28 m, 38 m and 42 m were ob- Oceanography, Vol. 7, No. 6, 1977, pp. 846-855. served at Ogatsu and Onagawa (Miyagi prefecture).  Crustal deformation during the event, which was simply mentioned here as a simple potential differen- [12] F. I. Gonzalez, K. Satake, F. Boss and H. O. Mofjeld, tiation during the quake (like an instant change of "Edge Wave and Non-Trapped Modes of the 25 April hydraulic head in adjacent areas) has to be further in- 1992 Cape Mendocino Tsunami," Earth and Environ- vestigated as a factor for run-up. The size of the area mental Science, Vol. 144, No. 3-4, 1995, pp. 409-426. and the magnitude of the deformation suggest a very large scale tsunami generation area, where the source [13] K. Fujima, R. Dozono and T. Shigemura, "Generation mechanism itself would have to be examined as a and Propagation of Tsunami Accompanying Edge Waves on a Uniform Sloping Shelf," Coastal Engineering, Vol. 42, 2000, pp. 211-236.
6. References
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E. LEKKAS ET AL. [22] I. Parcharidis, E. Lekkas, and M. Foumelis, "Tsunami [23] H. Yeh, R. K. Chadha, M. Francis, T. Katada, G. Latha, Impact Depending on Coastal Morphology: The Case of C. Peterson, G. Raghuraman and J. P. Singh, "Tsunami Phuchet Island and Khao Lac Coast (Thailand)," Interna- Runup Survey along the Southeast Indian Coast", Earth- tional Symposium on the Geodynamics of Eastern Medi- quake Spectra, Vol. 22, No. S3, 2006, pp. S173-S186. terranean: Active Tectonics of the Aegean Region. Istan- Copyright 2011 SciRes. IJG


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