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AGU: Geophysical Research Letters



  • LiDAR
  • earthquake
  • field survey
  • tsunami

Index Terms

  • 4564 - Tsunamis and storm surges

Paper in Press


2011 Japan tsunami current velocity measurements from survivor videos at Kesennuma Bay using LiDAR

Key Points
  • Application of LiDAR in post-tsunami survey
  • Tsunami Video Analysis using PIV
  • Video based tsunami water level time series


Hermann Marc Fritz

David Phillips

Akio Okayasu

Takenori Shimozono

Haijiang Liu

Fahad Mohammed

Vassilis Skanavis

Costas E. Synolakis

Tomoyuki Takahashi

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude Mw 9.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of Japan's Tohoku region causing catastrophic damage and loss of life. The tsunami flow velocity analysis focused on two survivor videos recorded from building rooftops at Kesennuma Bay along Japan's Sanriku coast. A terrestrial laser scanner was deployed at the locations of the tsunami eyewitness video recordings. The tsunami current velocities through the Kesennuma Bay are determined in a four step process. The LiDAR point clouds are used to calibrate the camera fields of view in real world coordinates. The motion of the camera during recordings was determined. The video images were rectified with direct linear transformation. Finally a cross-correlation based particle image velocimetry analysis was applied to the rectified video images to determine instantaneous tsunami flow velocity fields. The measured maximum tsunami height of 9 m in the Kesennuma Bay narrows were followed by maximum tsunami outflow currents of 11 m/s less than 10 minutes later.

Received 17 December 2011; accepted 20 December 2011.

Citation: Fritz, H. M., D. Phillips, A. Okayasu, T. Shimozono, H. Liu, F. Mohammed, V. Skanavis, C. E. Synolakis, and T. Takahashi (2011), 2011 Japan tsunami current velocity measurements from survivor videos at Kesennuma Bay using LiDAR, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL050686, in press.