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Runup of landslide-generated tsunamis controlled by paleogeography and sea-level change

Sun, Qiliang, Wang, Qing, Shi, Fengyan, Alves, Tiago ORCID:, Gao, Shu, Xie, Xinong, Wu, Shiguo and Li, Jiabiao 2022. Runup of landslide-generated tsunamis controlled by paleogeography and sea-level change. Communications Earth & Environment 3 (1) , 244. 10.1038/s43247-022-00572-w

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Abstract: Pre-Holocene landslides and tsunami deposits are commonly observed on continental margins and oceanic islands. However, scarce evidence has thus far linked pre-historic submarine landslides to particular tsunami events. This work focuses on an 839 km3 submarine landslide that occurred in the South China Sea at 0.54 Ma. Bathymetric restorations show that the paleoshoreline at 0.54 Ma was 180–580 km to the south of its present-day location. In such a setting, the tsunami triggered by the landslide at 0.54 Ma was able to generate larger waves with shorter arrive times when compared to an equivalent landslide-generated tsunami under present-day conditions. This observation proves that tsunamis generated by submarine landslides during sea-level lowstands caused catastrophic damage to the South China Sea coast in the past, and so will do in future sea-level lowstands. This study stresses the importance of restoring paleoshorelines for detailed analysis of historic landslide-generated tsunamis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Nature Research
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 October 2022
Date of Acceptance: 5 October 2022
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 22:02

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