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Direct Comparison of the Tsunami-Generated Magnetic Field With Sea Level Change for the 2009 Samoa and 2010 Chile Tsunamis
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth  (IF3.848),  Pub Date : 2021-10-18, DOI: 10.1029/2021jb022760
Zhiheng Lin, Hiroaki Toh, Takuto Minami

The motion of conductive seawater by tsunamis can generate magnetic fields in the presence of the background geomagnetic main field. Previous studies found that, using the tsunami-generated seafloor magnetic field, it is possible to predict the propagation direction and wave height prior to the actual arrivals of tsunamis. This study correlates the tsunami magnetic field and the tsunami sea level change using observed data and three-dimensional simulations of the 2009 Samoa and 2010 Chile tsunamis. Our direct comparison of the tsunami observed magnetic field and tsunami sea level change illustrate that the vertical tsunami magnetic component, urn:x-wiley:21699313:media:jgrb55261:jgrb55261-math-0001, arrived earlier than the sea level change. The “initial rise” signal in the observed horizontal tsunami magnetic component, urn:x-wiley:21699313:media:jgrb55261:jgrb55261-math-0002, which was arrived even earlier than urn:x-wiley:21699313:media:jgrb55261:jgrb55261-math-0003 also is found by combing the observation with the three-dimensional simulations. We further examine the precision of conversion of the tsunami magnetic field to the sea level change and find that the magnetic field derived tsunami sea levels are as precise as those obtained from differential pressure gauge data. However, our simulation shows that existing tsunami source models are incompatible with our tsunami magnetic data. Therefore, it is necessary to include magnetic field derived tsunami sea level changes to improve those source models.