Nationalwide post event survey and analysis of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami


Coastal Engineering Journal 54, 1250001


At 14:46 local time on March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of northeast Japan. This earthquake generated a tsunami that struck Japan as well as various locations around the Pacific Ocean. With the participation of about 300 researchers from throughout Japan, joint research groups conducted a tsunami survey along a 2,000 km stretch of the Japanese coast. More than 5,200 locations have been surveyed to date, generating the largest tsunami survey dataset in the world. The inundation height and run-up height were surveyed by laser, GPS, and other instruments, and the tidal correction has been accurately adjusted using a tidal database and a numerical simulation for Tohoku, an area where tide gauges were destroyed by the tsunami. Based on the survey dataset, the regional and local scale analyses were conducted to understand the basic characteristics of this event. Maximum run-up heights greater than 10 m are distributed along 500 km of coast in direct distance. The affected area of this event was several times larger than historically recorded in Tohoku. The mean inundation height in the southern Sanriku region is 10–15 m and there are several peaks of inundation along the coast from the northern to middle part of Sanriku.

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