Stochastic analysis of tsunami hazard of the 1945 Makran subduction zone MW 8.1–8.3 earthquakes

Payam Momeni, Katsuichiro Goda, Mohammad Heidarzadeh, Jinhui Qin

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Historical records of major earthquakes in the northwestern Indian Ocean along the Makran Subduction Zone (MSZ) indicate high potential tsunami hazards for coastal regions of Pakistan, Iran, Oman, and western India. There are fast-growing and populous cities and ports that are economically important, such as Chabahar (Iran), Gwadar (Pakistan), Muscat (Oman), and Mumbai (India). In this study, we assess the tsunami hazard of the 1945 MSZ event (fatalities ≈300 people) using stochastic earthquake rupture models of Mw 8.1–8.3 by considering uncertainties related to rupture geometry and slip heterogeneity. To quantify the uncertainty of earthquake source characteristics in tsunami hazard analysis, 1000 stochastic tsunami scenarios are generated via a stochastic source modeling approach. There are main objectives of this study: (1) developing stochastic earthquake slip models for the MSZ, (2) comparing results of the simulation with the existing observations of the 1945 event, and (3) evaluating the effect of uncertain fault geometry and earthquake slip based on simulated near-shore wave profiles. The 1945 Makran earthquake is focused upon by comparing model predictions with existing observations, consisting of far-field tsunami waveforms recorded on tide gauges in Karachi and Mumbai and coseismic deformation along the Pakistani coast. The results identify the source model that matches the existing observations of the 1945 Makran event best among the stochastic sources. The length, width, mean slip, and maximum slip of the identified source model are 270 km, 130 km, 2.9 m, and 19.3 m, respectively. Moreover, the sensitivity of the maximum tsunami heights along the coastline to the location of a large-slip area is highlighted. The maximum heights of the tsunami and coseismic deformation results at Ormara are in the range of 0.3–7.0 m and −2.7 to 1.1 m, respectively, for the 1000 stochastic source models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number452
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Makran subduction zone
  • Stochastic source model
  • Tsunami hazard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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