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Large-scale Tsunami Run-up Simulation at Great East Japan Earthquake Using a Particle Method

Three-dimensional Analysis on a Supercomputer


Graduate School of Engineering / Faculty of Engineering

Three-dimensional simulation result of tsunami run-up to Ishinomaki City using a particle method © Kohei Murotani and Seiichi Koshizuka

A large-scale three-dimensional simulation of the tsunami runup that occurred during the Great East Japan Earthquake was carried out on a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo’s Information Technology Center using a particle method, a simulation technology, by Dr Kohei Murotani (researcher) and Professor Seiichi Koshizuka of the Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering, also at the University of Tokyo.The disaster was greatly exacerbated by the tsunami overcoming the breakwaters and the subsequent runup onto the coastal areas during the Great East Japan Earthquake. Development of simulation technologies of tsunami runup is important for mitigating tsunami damage and evacuation planning as well as evaluating the extent of the disaster. However, there are two significant problems that need to be overcome: treatment of complex topography in detail, and large-scale simulation to analyze a wide area of tsunami runup.To analyze complex topography in detail the researchers employed a particle method developed in the University of Tokyo. Next, the researchers developed a new technique to parallelize the particle method so that the FX10 supercomputer of the University of Tokyo’s Information Technology Center could be utilized to run a large-scale simulation. The figure shows the calculated result for a part of Ishinomaki City. It can be observed that tsunami runup arrives at the foot of the hill. Water is concentrated in the river estuary and runup is so strong as to reach upstream areas of the river.The large-scale three-dimensional tsunami runup simulation developed in the present study provides important information for evaluation of the tsunami disaster, damage mitigation and evacuation planning.

Press release


To be presented in JSME 25th Computational Mechanics Division Conference (Kobe, October 9-11, 2012)


Graduate School of Engineering

Department of Systems Innovation

Koshizuka Laboratory (Japanese)

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