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The published tsunami catalogues for the Eastern Mediterranean illustrate the potentially high tsunami hazard for the Gulf of Corinth. A total of 16 tsunami events are reported to have occurred since 1402. (Papadopoulos, 2003)
Although the majority of the tsunamis that have taken place are related to shallow earthquakes, it is not clear whether these waves were caused by the coseismic fault displacement on the seafloor or, seismically triggered submarine and coastal landslides.
The existing data on the offshore fault length and submarine/coastal landslides (Fig 6.1) suggests that the coseismic seafloor displacement and coastal/submarine landslides are the active tsunamogenic sources in the Gulf.
Fault generated tsunami
The presence of a 15km long submarine fault, in the Gulf, suggests that the expected maximum magnitude earthquake is 6,7R and that the expected maximum seafloor rupture along the fault length is between 0,66 and 1,08m. The expected wave height for such fault displacement is considered to be approximately the same at the source area that is between 0,66 and 1,08m.
Submarine landslide generated tsunami
The presence of coastal /submarine landslides of known location, size and geometry that have taken place over the last 3000 years in the Gulf of Corinth (Fig 6.1) shows that tsunamis generated by these submarine landslides would have a wave height at the source area of between 1,04 and 4,04m. The estimated maximum wave heights in meters along the coastal zone of the Gulf of Corinth, according to the tsunami propagation model proposed by (Imamura 1995) are shown in Fig. 6.2. The estimated tsunami travel times (in minutes), for tsunami waves in the Gulf of Corinth generated by the Perachore peninsula landslides are shown in Fig 6.3.
Fig. 6.1: Shaded relief bathymetry of the Corinth Gulf and surrounding land, compiled from data collected by the lab of Marine Geology and Physical Oceanography and satellite data, respectively Offshore fault lines by Stefatos et al 2002. The locations of submarine landslides are shown by white circles. 1. Kamares slide; 2. Alkyonides slide; 3. Perachora slide.
Fig. 6.2: Maximum tsunami wave height in metres during numerical simulation of the Perachora case study using underwater slide tsunami source. Simulation based on a 100m grid.
Fig. 6.3: Map of the estimated tsunami travel times(in minutes) in the Corinth Gulf, for tsunami waves generated by the Perachora peninsula underwater landslide
Stefatos A., Charalambakis M., Papatheodorou G., Chionis G., and Ferentinos G., 2005. Potential tsunami hazard from submarine landslides in the Corinth Gulf, Greece. Proceedings of the Intern. Tsunami Symposium (eds: G. Papadopoulos and K. Satake). Intern. Union of Geology and Geophysics Tsunami Commission. Chania, Crete, Greece
Stefatos A., Charalampakis M., Papatheodorou G. and Ferentinos G., 2006. Tsunamigemic sources in an active European half-graven Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Marine Geology 232:35-47.