Borrero, J. C., Bell, R., Csato, C., de Lange, W. P., Goring, D., …, Power, W. (2013). Observations, effects and real time assessment of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku-oki Tsunami in New Zealand. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 170, 1229-1238.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7964
The great Tohoku-oki earthquake of March 11, 2011 generated a devastating tsunami in the near field as well as substantial far-field effects throughout the Pacific Ocean. In New Zealand, the tsunami was widely observed and instrumentally recorded on an extensive array of coastal tidal gauges and supplemented by current velocity data from two sites. While the tsunami's first arrival was on the morning of March 12 in New Zealand, the strongest effects occurred throughout that afternoon and into the following day. Tsunami effects consisted primarily of rapid changes in water level and associated strong currents that affected numerous bays, harbors, tidal inlets and marine facilities, particularly on the northern and eastern shores of the North Island. The tsunami caused moderate damage and significant overland flooding at one location. The tsunami signal was clearly evident on tide gauge recordings for well over 2 days, clearly illustrating the extended duration of far field tsunami hazards. Real time analysis and modelling of the tsunami through the night of March 11, as the tsunami crossed the Pacific, was used as a basis for escalating the predicted threat level for the northern region of New Zealand. A comparison to recorded data following the tsunami shows that these real time prediction models were accurate despite the coarse near-shore bathymetry used in the assessment, suggesting the efficacy of such techniques for future events from far-field sources.