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Title

Tsunamigenic submarine landslides along the Xauen-Tofiño banks in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean Sea)

AuthorsRodriguez, Mathieu; Ercilla, Gemma ; Alonso, Belén ; Gorini, Christian
KeywordsTsunamis
Submarine landslides
Submarine tectonics and volcanism
Issue DateApr-2017
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationGeophysical Journal International 209(1): 266-281 (2017)
AbstractThe active Eurasia–Nubia plate boundary runs across the Alboran Sea in the Western Mediterranean Sea, where the connection between the Atlantic and Mediterranean water masses occurs. Earthquakes above magnitude Mw > 6 may favour the occurrence of landslides within contouritic drifts in the Alboran Sea. A compilation of recent multibeam data reveals for the first time the distribution of slope failures along the Xauen–Tofiño banks, in the southern Alboran Sea. Here, we provide a detailed mapping and description of the morphology of eight Holocene landslides, including volume estimations of the failed mass and the related mass transport deposits (MTDs). The most voluminous landslide mobilized ∼0.5 km3 of sediment at the initial stage of slope failure, and formed a ∼2.2–5.6 km3 MTD. A finite-difference numerical model, assimilating the landslide to a granular flow, simulates tsunami generation and propagation for a slide similar to the most voluminous one. Simulations show that the coastline of Al Hoceima may be impacted by a ∼0.5-m-high tsunami wave, whereas the coastline of Al Jebha may be impacted by a ∼1-m-high tsunami wave, only ∼13 min after sediment failure. The 0.2-m-high tsunami waves may impact the southern Spanish coast of the Iberian Peninsula ∼20 min after slide initiation. Although the elevations of the modeled tsunami waves are modest, landslides from the Xauen–Tofiño banks may represent a more dangerous source of tsunami in some parts of the Moroccan coast than earthquakes
DescriptionRodriguez, Mathieu ... et al.-- 16 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggx028
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/151589
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/gji/ggx028
issn: 0956-540X
e-issn: 1365-246X
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