Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 8, pp 3291–3304 | Cite as

Field Survey of the 2018 Sulawesi Tsunami: Inundation and Run-up Heights and Damage to Coastal Communities

  • Takahito MikamiEmail author
  • Tomoya Shibayama
  • Miguel Esteban
  • Tomoyuki Takabatake
  • Ryota Nakamura
  • Yuta Nishida
  • Hendra Achiari
  • Rusli
  • Abdul Gafur Marzuki
  • Muhammad Fadel Hidayat Marzuki
  • Jacob Stolle
  • Clemens Krautwald
  • Ian Robertson
  • Rafael Aránguiz
  • Koichiro Ohira
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sulawesi/Palu-2018 and Anak/Krakatau-2018


On September 28, 2018, a large earthquake and its accompanying tsunami waves caused severe damage to the coastal area of Palu Bay, in the central western part of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. To clarify the distribution of tsunami inundation and run-up heights, and damage to coastal communities due to the tsunami, the authors conducted a field survey 1 month after the event. In the inner part of Palu Bay tsunami inundation and run-up heights of more than 4 m were measured at many locations, and severe damage by the tsunami to coastal low-lying settlements was observed. In the areas to the north of the bay and around its entrance the tsunami inundation and run-up heights were lower than in the inner part of the bay. The tsunami inundation distance depended on the topographical features of coastal areas. The southern shore of the bay experienced a longer inundation distance than other shores, though generally severe damage to houses was limited to within around 200 m from the shoreline. The main lessons that can be learnt from the present event are also discussed.


Tsunami earthquake field survey inundation height run-up height Palu Bay 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake 



The field survey was financially supported by Penta Ocean Co. Ltd., New CC Construction Consultants Co., Ltd., the Institute for Future City Studies at Tokyo City University, and US National Science Foundation funding through the StEER Network. The authors would also like to thank CONICYT (Chile) for the FONDAP 15110017 grant. The present work was performed as a part of activities of Research Institute of Sustainable Future Society, Waseda Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

Supplementary material

24_2019_2258_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (338 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 338 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takahito Mikami
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomoya Shibayama
    • 2
  • Miguel Esteban
    • 2
  • Tomoyuki Takabatake
    • 2
  • Ryota Nakamura
    • 3
  • Yuta Nishida
    • 2
  • Hendra Achiari
    • 4
  • Rusli
    • 5
  • Abdul Gafur Marzuki
    • 5
  • Muhammad Fadel Hidayat Marzuki
    • 4
  • Jacob Stolle
    • 6
  • Clemens Krautwald
    • 7
  • Ian Robertson
    • 8
  • Rafael Aránguiz
    • 9
    • 10
  • Koichiro Ohira
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of Urban and Civil EngineeringTokyo City UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Civil Engineering Program, Department of EngineeringNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Civil and Environmental EngineeringInstitut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)BandungIndonesia
  5. 5.State Institute for Islamic Studies Palu (IAIN Palu)PaluIndonesia
  6. 6.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  7. 7.Leichtweiβ Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water ResourcesTechnische Universität BraunschweigBrunswickGermany
  8. 8.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  9. 9.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversidad Católica de la Santísima ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  10. 10.Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN)SantiagoChile
  11. 11.Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.AichiJapan

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