TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 7), pp. 847-851, 2011


Three-dimensional numerical modeling of tsunami-related internal gravity waves in the Hawaiian atmosphere

Giovanni Occhipinti1,2, Pierdavide Coïsson1, Jonathan J. Makela3, Sébastien Allgeyer4, Alam Kherani5, Héléne Hébert4, and Philippe Lognonné1

1Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Univ Paris Diderot, UMR 7154 CNRS, F-94100 Saint Maur des Fossés, France
2Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales, Palaiseau, France
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
4CEA-DAM-DIF, F-91297 Arpajon, France
5Instituto Nacional de Pesquisais Espaciais (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paula, BR-12227010, Brazil

(Received April 8, 2011; Revised June 29, 2011; Accepted June 30, 2011; Online published September 27, 2011)

Abstract: The tremendous tsunami following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake produced internal gravity waves (IGWs) in the neutral atmosphere and large disturbances in the overlying ionospheric plasma while propagating through the Pacific ocean. To corroborate the tsunamigenic hypothesis of these perturbations, we use a 3D numerical modeling of the ocean-atmosphere coupling, to reproduce the tsunami signature observed in the airglow by the imager located in Hawaii and clearly showing the shape of the modeled IGW. The agreement between data and synthetics not only supports the interpretation of the tsunami-related-IGW behavior, but strongly shows that atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing can provide new tools for oceanic monitoring and tsunami detection.
Key words: Internal gravity waves, tsunami, airglow, numerical modeling.

Corresponding author E-mail: ninto@ipgp.fr

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