Based on the tsunami data in the Central American region, the regional characteristic of tsunami magnitude scales is discussed in relation to earthquake magnitudes during the period from 1900 to 1993. Tsunami magnitudes on the Imamura-Iida scale of the 1985 Mexico and 1992 Nicaragua tsunamis are determined to be m = 2.5, judging from the tsunami height-distance diagram. The magnitude values of the Central American tsunamis are relatively small compared to earthquakes with similar size in other regions. However, there are a few large tsunamis generated by low-frequency earthquakes such as the 1992 Nicaragua earthquake. Inundation heights of these unusual tsunamis are about 10 times higher than those of normal tsunamis for the same earthquake magnitude (M s = 6.9–7.2). The Central American tsunamis having magnitude m > 1 have been observed by the Japanese tide stations, but the effect of directivity toward Japan is very small compared to that of the South American tsunamis.
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- Magnitude Scale for the Central American Tsunamis
- Birkhäuser Basel