Long Tsunami Oscillations Following the 30 October 2020 Mw 7.0 Aegean Sea Earthquake: Observations and Modelling

Mohammad Heidarzadeh, Ignatius Ryan Pranantyo, Ryo Okuwaki, Gozde Guney Dogan, Ahmet C. Yalciner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


Eastern Mediterranean Sea has experienced four tsunamigenic earthquakes since 2017, which delivered moderate damage to coastal communities in Turkey and Greece. The most recent of these tsunamis occurred on 30 October 2020 in the Aegean Sea, which was generated by an Mw 7.0 normal-faulting earthquake, offshore Izmir province (Turkey) and Samos Island (Greece). The earthquake was destructive and caused death tolls of 117 and 2 in Turkey and Greece, respectively. The tsunami produced moderate damage and killed one person in Turkey. Due to the semi-enclosed nature of the Aegean Sea basin, any tsunami perturbation in this sea is expected to trigger several basin oscillations. Here, we study the 2020 tsunami through sea level data analysis and numerical simulations with the aim of further understanding tsunami behavior in the Aegean Sea. Analysis of data from available tide gauges showed that the maximum zero-to-crest tsunami amplitude was 5.1–11.9 cm. The arrival times of the maximum tsunami wave were up to 14.9 h after the first tsunami arrivals at each station. The duration of tsunami oscillation was from 19.6 h to > 90 h at various tide gauges. Spectral analysis revealed several peak periods for the tsunami; we identified the tsunami source periods as 14.2–23.3 min. We attributed other peak periods (4.5 min, 5.7 min, 6.9 min, 7.8 min, 9.9 min, 10.2 min and 32.0 min) to non-source phenomena such as basin and sub-basin oscillations. By comparing surveyed run-up and coastal heights with simulated ones, we noticed the north-dipping fault model better reproduces the tsunami observations as compared to the south-dipping fault model. However, we are unable to choose a fault model because the surveyed run-up data are very limited and are sparsely distributed. Additional researches on this event using other types of geophysical data are required to determine the actual fault plane of the earthquake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1548
Number of pages18
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number5
Early online date25 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021


  • Aegean Sea
  • earthquake
  • Greece
  • Izmir
  • numerical simulations
  • Samos
  • spectral analysis
  • Tsunami
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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