Effects of the March 2011 Japanese Tsunami in Bays and Estuaries of SE Australia



Publication Details

Hinwood, J. B. & McLean, E. J. (2013). Effects of the March 2011 Japanese Tsunami in Bays and Estuaries of SE Australia. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 170 (6-8), 1207-1227.


On 11 March 2011 a subsea earthquake off the north-eastern coast of Honshu Island, Japan generated a huge tsunami which was felt throughout the Pacific. At the opposite end of the Pacific Ocean, on the south-east coast of Australia, multiple reflections, scatterings and alternate pathways lead to a prolonged and complicated response. This response was largely unaltered in crossing the continental shelf but was then transformed by bay resonances and admittances. These effects are described using data from tide recorders sparsely spread over 1,000 km of the coast. Some new adaptations and applications of time-series analysis are applied to separate tsunami waves that have followed different pathways but contain the same spectral components. The possible types of harbour response are classified and illustrated. Despite its small height in this region, the tsunami put several swimmers at serious risk and generated strong harbour oscillations, which should be considered when generating future warnings.

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