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On the potential for megathrust earthquakes and tsunamis off the southern coast of West Java and southeast Sumatra, Indonesia

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Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Widiyantoro, S 
Rawlinson, N 
Yatimantoro, T 
Muhari, A 

Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pHigh seismicity rates in and around West Java and Sumatra occur as a result of the Indo-Australian plate converging with and subducting beneath the Sunda plate. Large megathrust events associated with this process likely pose a major earthquake and tsunami hazard to the surrounding community, but further effort is required to help understand both the likelihood and frequency of such events. With this in mind, we exploit catalog seismic data sourced from the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) of Indonesia and the International Seismological Centre (ISC) for the period April 2009 through to July 2020, in order to conduct earthquake hypocenter relocation using a teleseismic double-difference method. Our results reveal a large seismic gap to the south of West Java and southeast Sumatra, which is in agreement with a previous GPS study that finds the region to be a potential future source of megathrust earthquakes. To investigate this further, tsunami modeling was conducted in the region for two scenarios based on the estimated seismicity gaps and the existence of a backthrust fault. We show that the maximum tsunami height could be up to 34 m along the west coast of southernmost Sumatra and along the south coast of Java near the Ujung Kulon Peninsula. This estimate is comparable with the maximum tsunami height predicted by a previous study of southern Java in which earthquake sources were derived from the inversion of GPS data. However, the present study extends the analysis to southeast Sumatra and demonstrates that estimating rupture from seismic gaps can lead to reliable tsunami hazard assessment in the absence of GPS data.</jats:p>

Description

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank BMKG for providing the earthquake data used in this study. This research is partially funded by the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology/National Agency for Research and Innovation, and Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture under World Class University (WCU) Program managed by Institut Teknologi Bandung, and PT. Reasuransi MAIPARK Indonesia. This research is also funded by the University of Cambridge through a Herchel Smith Research Fellowship awarded to P.S.

Keywords

Earthquake, Tsunami, Megathrust, West Java, Southeast Sumatra

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Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC