Impact Tsunami Calculations: Hydrodynamical Simulations vs. Linear TheoryTsunamis generated by the impacts of asteroids and comets into the Earth oceans are widely recognized as a potential catastrophic hazard to the Earth s population. Our general conclusion is that linear theory is a reasonably accurate guide to behavior of tsunamis generated by impactors of moderate size, where the initial transient impact cavity is of moderate depth compared to the ocean depth. This is particularly the case for long wavelength waves that propagate fastest and would reach coastlines first. Such tsunamis would be generated in the open ocean by impactors of 300 meters in diameter, which might be expected to strike the Earth once every few thousand years, on the average. Larger impactors produce cavities deep enough to reach the ocean floor; even here, linear theory is applicable if the starting point is chosen at a later phase in the calculation when the impact crater has slumped back to produce a cavity of moderate depth and slope.
Korycansky, E. (California Univ. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
Asphaug, E. (California Univ. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
Ward, S. N. (California Univ. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)