Tsunami scenario triggered by a submarine landslide offshore of northern Sumatra Island and its hazard assessment

Haekal A. Haridhi, Bor Shouh Huang, Kuo Liang Wen, Arif Mirza, Syamsul Rizal, Syahrul Purnawan, Ilham Fajri, Frauke Klingelhoefer, Char Shine Liu, Chao Shing Lee, Crispen R. Wilson, Tso Ren Wu, Ichsan Setiawan, Van Bang Phung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Near the northern border of Sumatra, the right-lateral strike-slip Sumatran fault zone splits into two branches and extends into the offshore, as revealed by seismic sounding surveys. However, due to its strike-slip faulting characteristics, the Sumatran fault zone's activity is rarely believed to cause tsunami hazards in this region. According to two reprocessed reflection seismic profiles, the extended Sumatran fault zone is strongly associated with chaotic facies, indicating that large submarine landslides have been triggered. Coastal steep slopes and new subsurface characteristics of submarine landslide deposits were mapped using recently acquired high-resolution shallow bathymetry data. Slope stability analysis revealed some targets with steep morphology to be close to failure. In an extreme hypothetical case, an earthquake of Mw 7 or more occurred, and the strong ground shaking triggered a submarine landslide off the northern shore of Sumatra. Based on a simulation of tsunami wave propagation in shallow water, the results of this study indicate that a potential tsunami hazard from several submarine landslide sources triggered by the strike-slip fault system can generate a tsunami as high as 4-8 m at several locations along the northern coast of Aceh. The landslide tsunami hazard assessment and early warning systems in this study area can be improved on the basis of this proposed scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-523
Number of pages17
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2023


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