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Coastal Disaster Engineering

Japan surrounded by sea has suffered from the lost of human lives and precious estate due to the disaster caused by storm surges, high waves and tsunamis. We have developed the numerical models for the prediction of tsunamis and storm surges and also improved design procedures of disaster prevention structures. We carry out studies of reliability and performance based designs to establish new conceptual design methods and have researched how to determine design conditions of disaster prevention structures taking an optimal design into account.

Academic Staff

Nobuhito MORI

Nobuhito MORIProfessor (Disaster Prevention Research Institute)

Research Topics

Wind energy transfers into momentum of ocean currents and waves, heat, vapor and gas transfer at the atmospheric and ocean interface. The strong momentum transfer into the ocean causes storm waves and storm surge. Dr. Mori interests the momentum and gas transfer process at the air-water interface and their engineering application.


Room E-204D, Uji Campus
TEL and FAX: +81-774-38-4321
E-mail: lab@oceanwave.jp

Research Topics

Storm surges, wind waves and and tsunamis

Storm surges are abnormal rise of sea level induced by two factors: one is suction force due to air pressure depression and the other is drift shear force due to strong wind speed. The storm surges accompanied by high waves have sometimes damaged storm barriers and have caused large inundation disaster. Tsunami is another issue to be established for long-term impact assessment.

Research works have been carried out to improve prediction models for storm surge, wind waves and tsunamis.

Long-term assessment of coastal disasters

Understanding future changes of ocean waves and storm surges is important for assessing and mitigating the impact of climate on coastal, marine and ocean environments and on engineering problems. We study climate change impacts on coastal hazards. It is expected to increase in extreme values of wave heights and storm surges in the tropical cyclone dominant regions around the middle latitudes of the Western North Pacific including Japan. The influence of future climate change on coastal hazards is discussed considering sea level rise, extreme wave conditions and storm surges targeting the Pacific side of Japan. 

Probabilistic modeling of tsunamis

 In general, there are two approaches for tsunami hazard assessment, generally. The first is a more conservative deterministic approach which is based on the largest tsunami event and is often termed the “worst case” or “worst credible” tsunami. The second approach is probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) and is analogous to probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA).

We develop probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami. PTHA mainly is concerned with mega-thrust subduction earthquakes, which can trigger massive tsunamis. Through PTHA, probabilistic tsunami inundation characteristics are evaluated, too.

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