A rigorous finite volume model to simulate subaerial and submarine landslide-generated waves

S Yavari-Ramshe, Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new landslide-generated wave (LGW) model based on incompressible Euler equations with Savage-Hutter assumptions. A two-layer model is developed including a layer of granular-type flow beneath a layer of an inviscid fluid. Landslide is modeled as a two-phase Coulomb mixture. A well-balanced second-order finite volume formulation is applied to solve the model equations. Wet/dry transitions are treated properly using a modified non-linear method. The numerical model is validated using two sets of experimental data on subaerial and submarine LGWs. Impulsive wave characteristics and landslide deformations are estimated with a computational error less than 5 %. Then, the model is applied to investigate the effects of landslide deformations on water surface fluctuations in comparison with a simpler model considering a rigid landslide. The model results confirm the importance of both rheological behavior and two-phase nature of landslide in proper estimation of generated wave properties and formation patterns. Rigid slide modeling often overestimates the characteristics of induced waves. With a proper rheological model for landslide, the numerical prediction of LGWs gets more than 30 % closer to experimental measurements. Single-phase landslide results in relative errors up to about 30 % for maximum positive and about 70 % for maximum negative wave amplitudes. Two-phase constitutive structure of landslide has also strong effects on landslide deformations, velocities, elongations, and traveling distances. The complex behaviors of landslide and LGW of the experimental data are analyzed and described with the aid of the robust and accurate finite volume model. This can provide benchmark data for testing other numerical methods and models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Coulomb mixture
  • Finite volume method
  • Impulsive waves
  • Landslide-generated waves
  • Submarine/subaerial landslides
  • Tsunami


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