Subaqueous landslide-triggered tsunami hazard for Lake Zurich, Switzerland

Strupler, Michael; Hilbe, Michael; Kremer, Katrina; Danciu, Laurentiu; Anselmetti, Flavio; Strasser, Michael; Wiemer, Stefan (2018). Subaqueous landslide-triggered tsunami hazard for Lake Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss journal of geosciences, 111(1-2), pp. 353-371. Birkhäuser 10.1007/s00015-018-0308-5

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Subaqueous landslides can induce potentially damaging tsunamis. Tsunamis are not restricted to the marine environment, but have also been documented on lakes in Switzerland and worldwide. For Lake Zurich (central Switzerland), previous work documented multiple, assumedly earthquake-triggered landslides. However, no information about past tsunamis is available for Lake Zurich. In a back-analysis, we model tsunami scenarios as a consequence of the earthquake-triggered landslides in the past. Furthermore, on the basis of a recent map of the earthquake-triggered subaqueous landslide hazard, we present results of a tsunami hazard assessment. The subaqueous landslide progression, wave propagation and inun- dation are calculated with a combination of open source codes. Although no historic evidence of past tsunamis has been documented for Lake Zurich, a tsunami hazard exists. However, only earthquakes with long return periods are assumed to cause considerable tsunamis. An earthquake with an exceedance probability of 0.5% in 50 years (corresponding to an earthquake with a return period of 9975 years) is assumed to cause tsunamigenic landslides on most lateral slopes of Lake Zurich. A hypothetical tsunami for such an event would create damage especially along the shores of the central basin of Lake Zurich with estimated peak flow depths of up to * 4.6 m. Our results suggest that for an earthquake with an exceedance probability of 10% in 50 years (i.e., mean return period of 475 years), no considerable tsunami hazard is estimated. Even for a worst-case scenario, the cities of Zurich and Rapperswil, located at the northern and southern ends of the lake, respectively, are assumed to experience very little damage. The presented first-order results of estimated wave heights and inundated zones provide valuable information on tsunami-prone areas that can be used for further investi- gations and mitigation measures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Quaternary Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Hilbe, Michael; Kremer, Katrina; Anselmetti, Flavio and Wiemer, Stefan


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Flavio Anselmetti

Date Deposited:

02 May 2018 12:15

Last Modified:

01 Jun 2022 09:01

Publisher DOI:





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