Tsunami modeling to validate slip models of the 2007 Mw8.0 Pisco earthquake, central Peru

M. Ioualalen, H. Perfettini, S. Yauri Condo, C. Jimenez, H. Tavera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Following the 2007, August 15th, Mw 8.0, Pisco earthquake in central Peru, SLADEN et al. (J Geophys Res 115: B02405, 2010) have derived several slip models of this event. They inverted teleseismic data together with geodetic (InSAR) measurements to look for the co-seismic slip distribution on the fault plane, considering those data sets separately or jointly. But how close to the real slip distribution are those inverted slip models? To answer this crucial question, the authors generated some tsunami records based on their slip models and compared them to DART buoys, tsunami records, and available runup data. Such an approach requires a robust and accurate tsunami model (non-linear, dispersive, accurate bathymetry and topography, etc.) otherwise the differences between the data and the model may be attributed to the slip models themselves, though they arise from an incomplete tsunami simulation. The accuracy of a numerical tsunami simulation strongly depends, among others, on two important constraints: (i) A fine computational grid (and thus the bathymetry and topography data sets used) which is not always available, unfortunately, and (ii) a realistic tsunami propagation model including dispersion. Here, we extend Sladen's work using newly available data, namely a tide gauge record at Callao (Lima harbor) and the Chilean DART buoy record, while considering a complete set of runup data along with a more realistic tsunami numerical that accounts for dispersion, and also considering a fineresolution computational grid, which is essential. Through these accurate numerical simulations we infer that the InSAR-based model is in better agreement with the tsunami data, studying the case of the Pisco earthquake indicating that geodetic data seems essential to recover the final co-seismic slip distribution on the rupture plane. Slip models based on teleseismic data are unable to describe the observed tsunami, suggesting that a significant amount of co-seismic slip may have been aseismic. Finally, we compute the runup distribution along the central part of the Peruvian coast to better understand the wave amplification/attenuation processes of the tsunami generated by the Pisco earthquake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-451
Number of pages19
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthquake
  • Insar
  • Pisco Peru
  • Teleseismic
  • Tsunami


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