Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Tsunami Loads on Infrastructure

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_347


Tsunami. The Japanese word for “harbor wave.”

Coastal bathymetry. The study and mapping of the submarine ocean floor in near-shore areas.

Inundation. The overflowing of water onto normally dry land.

Loading combinations. The summation of individual force components occurring simultaneously.


Tsunami, meaning “harbor wave” in Japanese, is the outcome of a vertical displacement of a large body of water. It can be triggered by various geological or astronomical phenomena, including: underwater earthquakes occurring along tectonic boundaries, volcanic eruptions, submerged or aerial landslides, and impact from asteroids or comets. In deep, open waters, tsunamis have small amplitudes (wave height), but very long wavelengths. However, as tsunami waves advance toward shorelines they transform. First, the amplitude of the tsunami wave increases due to shoaling, which occurs as the wave is “squeezed” by the up-sloping seabed. Second, the celerity and the wavelength...
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada