Historical tsunamis of Taiwan in the 18th century: the 1781 Jiateng Harbor flooding and 1782 tsunami event

Tien Chi Liu, Tso Ren Wu, Shu Kun Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This research aims to study two historical tsunamis that occurred in Taiwan during the 18th century and to reconstruct the incidents. The 1781 Jiateng Harbor flooding, recorded by the Chinese historical document entitled "Taiwan Interview Catalogue"took place on the southwest coast of Taiwan. In contrast, the 1782 tsunami was documented in foreign languages, with uncertainties about the actual time. These two events seem to be close enough in time and location that, to some researchers, they are considered as the same event. Reasoning these historical events requires carefully examining the literature records and performing the scenarios that match the descriptions. The impact intensity analysis (IIA) is employed to locate possible regions of tsunami sources in order to reproduce the events. Numerical simulations based on the Cornell Multi-grid Coupled Tsunami Model (COMCOT) analyze the influence of different types of tsunamis generated by both submarine mass failures and seismic activities. Numerical results indicate that the source of the 1781 Jiateng Harbor flooding is located very possibly on the south-southwestern side of Taiwan. However, simulation results and historical records put the existence of the 1782 tsunami in doubt, and the possibility of storm surges could not be ruled out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2517-2530
Number of pages14
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2022


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