Modeling the near-field effects of the worst-case tsunami in the Makran subduction zone

Mohammad Heidarzadeh, Moharram D. Pirooz, Nasser H. Zaker

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As a first step towards the development of inundation maps for the northwestern Indian Ocean, we simulated the near-field inundation of two large tsunami in the Makran subduction zone (MSZ). The tsunami scenarios were based on large historical earthquakes in the region. The first scenario included the rupture of about 500 km of the plate boundary in the eastern MSZ, featuring a moment magnitude of Mw 8.6. The second scenario involved the full rupture of the plate boundary resulting from a Mw 9 earthquake. For each scenario, the distribution of tsunami wave height along the coastlines of the region is presented. Also, detailed runup modeling was performed at four main coastal cities in the region for the second scenario. To investigate the possible effect of splay fault branching on tsunami wave height, a hypothetical splay fault was modeled which showed that it can locally increase the maximum wave height by a factor of 2. Our results showed that the two tsunami scenarios produce a runup height of 12-18 m and 24-30 m, respectively. For the second scenario, the modeled inundation distance was between 1 and 5 km.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009


  • Makran subduction zone (MSZ)
  • Numerical modeling
  • Runup calculations
  • Tsunami hazard
  • Worst-case scenario

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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