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Tsunamigenic submarine landslides along the Xauen-Tofiño banks in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean Sea)

Abstract : The active Eurasia-Nubia plate boundary runs across the Alboran Sea in the Western Mediterranean Sea, where the connection between the Atlantic and Mediterranean water masses occurs. Earthquakes above magnitude Mw > 6 may favour the occurrence of landslides within contouritic drifts in the Alboran Sea. A compilation of recent multibeam data reveals for the first time the distribution of slope failures along the Xauen-Tofiño banks, in the southern Alboran Sea. Here, we provide a detailed mapping and description of the morphology of eight Holocene landslides, including volume estimations of the failed mass and the related mass transport deposits (MTDs). The most voluminous landslide mobilized ∼0.5 km3 of sediment at the initial stage of slope failure, and formed a ∼2.2-5.6 km3 MTD. A finite-difference numerical model, assimilating the landslide to a granular flow, simulates tsunami generation and propagation for a slide similar to the most voluminous one. Simulations show that the coastline of Al Hoceima may be impacted by a ∼0.5-m-high tsunami wave, whereas the coastline of Al Jebha may be impacted by a ∼1-m-high tsunami wave, only ∼13 min after sediment failure. The 0.2-m-high tsunami waves may impact the southern Spanish coast of the Iberian Peninsula ∼20 min after slide initiation. Although the elevations of the modeled tsunami waves are modest, landslides from the Xauen-Tofiño banks may represent a more dangerous source of tsunami in some parts of the Moroccan coast than earthquakes.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03641966
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 4:59:25 PM
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Mathieu Rodriguez, Clément Maleuvre, Martin Jollivet-Castelot, Elia d'Acremont, Alain Rabaute, et al.. Tsunamigenic submarine landslides along the Xauen-Tofiño banks in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean Sea). Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017, 209, pp.266-281. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggx028⟩. ⟨insu-03641966⟩

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