Physical Modelling Of Boulder Transport Under The Influence Of Tsunami Waves


  • STORM ROBERTS University of Plymouth, UK
  • ALISON RABY University of Plymouth, UK
  • SARAH J. BOULTON University of Plymouth, UK
  • WILLIAM ALLSOP William Allsop Consulting Ltd, UK
  • ALESSANDRO ANTONINI Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • IVO VAN BALEN Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • DAVID MCGOVERN London South Bank University, UK
  • KEITH ADAMS London South Bank University, UK
  • IAN CHANDLER HR Wallingford, UK
  • JONAS CELS University College London, UK
  • IRENE MANZELLA University of Twente, NL & University of Plymouth, UK



Tsunami, Physical Model, Boulder Transport


Tsunami events are traditionally represented in the geological record by a sequence of fine-grained sediments, but increasingly coastal boulder deposits are being used as indicators of past tsunami events. The emplacement mechanism of many boulder deposits, however, is heavily debated and determining whether the inundation event was a tsunami or storm remains an unresolved challenge (Cox et al., 2020). Using physical experiments, we aim to achieve a better understanding of how tsunamis move coastal boulders. This knowledge will aid field geomorphologists in the identification of the emplacement mechanism for coastal boulder deposits and allow for the determination of wave parameters. In January 2023, physical experiments using the HR Wallingford Tsunami Simulator were completed as part of the MAKEWAVES collaboration. These experiments investigated the movement of a cuboid and irregular shaped boulder model when impacted by different tsunami waveforms on a plane beach. We propose new empirical formulae to describe relationships between transport distance and different tsunami waves.




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Extended abstracts