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1 May 2016 An Experimental Study of Tsunami Amplification by a Coastal Cliff
Shawn Y. Sim, Zhenhua Huang
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Sim, S.Y. and Huang, Z., 2016. An experimental study of tsunami amplification by a coastal cliff.

There is a general lack of understanding of the effects of coastal cliffs or other complex topography features on tsunami run-ups and tsunami heights onshore. We experimentally investigated several factors that might influence the amplification of onshore tsunami heights in the presence of a coastal cliff through a set of wave flume tests. The cross-shore bed profile used in the experiment was modeled using a composite slope made of three sections, with the gentlest section onshore to replicate the beach. A structure with an adjustable foreslope was mounted onto the beach section to model a coastal cliff. From our experimental results, a critical angle of about 45° was identified: the amplification factor increased with the cliff slope for cliffs gentler than 45°, and cliffs steeper than 45° gave more or less constant amplification factors for a given wave condition. The largest amplification factor found in this study is about 2.8; if water splashing was considered, the amplification factor would be even larger.

Shawn Y. Sim and Zhenhua Huang "An Experimental Study of Tsunami Amplification by a Coastal Cliff," Journal of Coastal Research 32(3), 611-618, (1 May 2016).
Received: 15 February 2015; Accepted: 9 June 2015; Published: 1 May 2016

complex topography
Tsunami flow
tsunami runup
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