Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Landslides Cause Tsunami Waves: Insights From Aysén Fjord, Chile

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Abstract

On 21 April 2007, an Mw 6.2 earthquake produced an unforeseen chain of events in the Aysén fjord (Chilean Patagonia, 45.5°S). The earthquake triggered hundreds of subaerial landslides along the fjord flanks. Some of the landslides eventually involved a subaqueous component that, in turn, generated a series of displacement waves—tsunami-like waves produced by the fast entry of a subaerial landmass into a water body—within the fjord [Naranjo et al., 2009; Sepúlveda and Serey, 2009; Hermanns et al., 2013]. These waves, with run-ups several meters high along the shoreline, caused 10 fatalities. In addition, they severely damaged salmon farms, which constitute the main economic activity in the region, setting free millions of cultivated salmon with still unknown ecological consequences.

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