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Modeling Impact of Earthquake-Generated Tsunami on the Caribbean Shores of Panama

Author(s): Mehrdad Salehi

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Keywords: Earthquake; Tsunami; Flooding; Delft3D; Tsunamigenic;

Abstract: In this study, an earthquake-generated tsunami propagation and inundation analysis is performed by applying Delft3D software to the Caribbean side of the Panama. Five scenarios were established with different location and magnitude of earthquake after evaluating tsunamigenic zones and possible sources in the region. Two areas of interest were selected based on their industrial importance: one at the Colon and one at the Bahia Las Minas Bay both in about 57 kilometer northwest of the Panama City, Panama. The resulting tsunami waves were modelled with Delft3D after calibrating it for the 1991 tsunami triggered by Limon earthquake. Combination of 4 nested models with progressive improvement in the resolution starting from regional to site specific is used to model the impact of the tsunami scenarios on the two areas of interests. Model results are presented in the form of extreme water elevation maps, sequences of snapshots of water elevation during propagation of the tsunamis, and inundation maps of the studied low-lying coastal areas. This work features one of the first successful applications of a Delft3D model for the simulation of tsunami-induced coastal inundation in the Northern Panama. Model results showed that the maximum generated tsunami at the Colon and Bahia Las Minas areas would be in excess of 40 cm and 90 cm, respectively. It takes between 30 to 45 minutes for the tsunami to reach these regions.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3850/38WC092019-1611

Year: 2019

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