Tsunami hazard in the Eastern Mediterranean and its connected seas: Toward a Tsunami warning center in Turkey

MERAL ÖZEL N., Ocal N., Cevdet Y. A., Dogan K., Mustafa E.

SOIL DYNAMICS AND EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, vol.31, no.4, pp.598-610, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Tsunami mitigation, preparedness and early warning initiatives have begun at the global scale only after the tragic event of Sumatra in 2004. Turkey, as a country with a history of devastating earthquakes, has been also affected by tsunamis in its past. In this paper we present the Tsunami Hazard in the Eastern Mediterranean and its connected seas (Aegean, Marmara and Black Sea) by providing detailed information on historically and instrumentally recorded significant tsunamigenic events surrounding Turkey, aiming to a better understanding of the Tsunami threat to the Turkish coasts. In addition to the review of the Tsunami hazard, we have studied a possible Tsunami source area between Rhodes and SW of Turkey using Tsunami numerical model NAMI DANCE-two nested domains. We have computed a maximum positive amplitude of 1.13 m and maximum negative amplitude of -0.5 m at the Tsunami source by this study. The distribution of maximum positive amplitudes of the water surface elevations in the selected Tsunami forecast area and time histories of water level fluctuations near selected locations (Marmaris, Dalaman, Fethiye and Kas towns) indicate that the maximum positive amplitude near the coast in the selected forecast area exceeds 3.5 m. The arrival time of maximum wave to Marmaris, Dalaman, is 10 min, while that of Fethiye and Kas towns is 15-20 min. The maximum positive amplitudes near the shallow region of around 10 m depth are 3 m (Marmaris), 1 m (Dalaman), 2 m (Fethiye) and 1 m (Kas). Maximum positive amplitudes of water elevations in the duration of 4 h simulation of the Santorini-Minoan Tsunami in around 1600 BC in the Aegean Sea are also calculated based on a simulation performed using 900 m grid resolution of Aegean sea bathymetry with a 300 m collapse of 10 km diameter of Thera (Santorini) caldera. We have also presented the results of the Tsunami modeling and simulation for Marmara Sea obtained from a previous study. Last part of this paper provides information on the establishment of a Tsunami Warning Center by KOERI, which is expected to act also as a regional center under the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission - Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (ICG/NEAMTWS) initiative, emphasizing on the challenges together with the future work needed to be accomplished. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.