21 Nov 2022
21 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Scenario–based Modelling of Waves Generated by Sublacustrine Explosive Eruptions at Lake Taupō, New Zealand

Matthew W. Hayward1,2, Emily M. Lane2, Colin N. Whittaker1, Graham S. Leonard3, and William L. Power3 Matthew W. Hayward et al.
  • 1Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2NIWA Taihoro Nukurangi, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 3GNS Science Te Pu Ao, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract. Volcanogenic tsunami and wave hazard remains less understood than that of other tsunami sources. Volcanoes can generate waves in a multitude of ways, including subaqueous explosions. Recent events, including a highly explosive eruption at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai and subsequent tsunami in January 2022, have reinforced the necessity to explore and quantify volcanic tsunami sources. We utilise a non-hydrostatic multilayer numerical method to simulate 20 scenarios of sublacustrine explosive eruptions under Lake Taupō, New Zealand, across five locations and four eruption sizes. Waves propagate around the entire lake within 15 minutes, and there is a minimum explosive size required to generate significant waves (positive amplitudes incident on foreshore of >1 m) from the impulsive displacement of water from the eruption itself. This corresponds to a mass eruption rate of 5.8x107 kg s-1, or VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) 5 equivalent. Inundation is mapped across five built areas and becomes significant near shore when considering only the two largest sizes, above VEI 5, which preferentially impact areas of low-gradient run-up. In addition, novel hydrographic output is produced showing the impact of incident waves on the Waikato river inlet draining the lake, and is potentially useful for future structural impact analysis. Waves generated from these explosive source types are highly dispersive, resulting in hazard rapidly diminishing with distance from the source. With improved computational efficiency, a probabilistic study could be formulated and other, potentially more significant, volcanic source mechanisms should be investigated.

Matthew W. Hayward et al.

Status: open (until 02 Jan 2023)

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Matthew W. Hayward et al.

Matthew W. Hayward et al.


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Short summary
In this paper, 20 explosive volcanic eruption scenarios of differing location and magnitude are simulated to investigate tsunami generation in Lake Taupō, New Zealand. A non-hydrostatic multilayer numerical scheme is used to resolve the highly dispersive generated wavefield. Inundation, hydrographic and related hazard outputs are produced, indicating significant inundation begins around the lake shore above 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index.