Tsunami source of the 2010 Menawai, Indonesia earthquake inferred from tsunami field survey and waveform modeling
Satake, K., Y. Nishimura, P.S. Putra, A.R. Gusman, H. Sunendar, Y. Fujii, Y. Tanioka, H. Latief and E. Yulianto (2012)
The 2010 Mentawai earthquake (magnitude 7.7) generated a destructive tsunami that caused more than 500 casualties in the Mentawai Islands, west of Sumatra, Indonesia. Seismological analyses indicate that this earthquake was an unusual “tsunami earthquake,” which produces much larger tsunamis than expected from the seismic magnitude. We carried out a field survey to measure tsunami heights and inundation distances, an inversion of tsunami waveforms to estimate the slip distribution on the fault, and inundation modeling to compare the measured and simulated tsunami heights. The measured tsunami heights at eight locations on the west coasts of North and South Pagai Island ranged from 2.5 to 9.3 m, but were mostly in the 4–7 m range. At three villages, the tsunami inundation extended more than 300 m. Interviews of local residents indicated that the earthquake ground shaking was less intense than during previous large earthquakes and did not cause any damage. Inversion of tsunami waveforms recorded at nine coastal tide gauges, a nearby GPS buoy, and a DART station indicated a large slip (maximum 6.1 m) on a shallower part of the fault near the trench axis, a distribution similar to other tsunami earthquakes. The total seismic moment estimated from tsunami waveform inversion was 1.0 × 1021 Nm, which corresponded to Mw 7.9. Computed coastal tsunami heights from this tsunami source model using linear equations are similar to the measured tsunami heights. The inundation heights computed by using detailed bathymetry and topography data and nonlinear equations including inundation were smaller than the measured ones. This may have been partly due to the limited resolution and accuracy of publically available bathymetry and topography data. One-dimensional run-up computations using our surveyed topography profiles showed that the computed heights were roughly similar to the measured ones.