Large , deepwater slope failures : Implications for landslide-generated tsunamis

TitleLarge , deepwater slope failures : Implications for landslide-generated tsunamis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsIacono, CLo, Gràcia, E, Zaniboni, F, Pagnoni, G, Tinti, S, Bartolomé, R, Masson, DG, Wynn, RB, Lourenço, N, De Abreu, MPinto, Dañobeitia, JJosé

Deepwater landslides are often underestimated as potential tsunami triggers. The North Gorringe avalanche (NGA) is a large (∼80 km3 and 35 km runout) newly discovered and deepwater (2900 m to 5100 m depth) mass failure located at the northern flank of Gorringe Bank on the southwest Iberian margin. Steep slopes and pervasive fracturing are suggested as the main preconditioning factors for the NGA, while an earthquake is the most likely trigger mechanism. Near-field tsunami simulations show that a mass failure similar to the NGA could generate a wave >15 m high that would hit the south Portuguese coasts in ∼30 min. This suggests that deepwater landslides require more attention in geo-hazard assessment models of southern Europe, as well as, at a global scale, in seismically active margins.