EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Granular porous landslide tsunami modelling with OpenFOAM

Matthias Rauter1,2,3, Sylvain Viroulet4, Sigríður Sif Gylfadóttir5, Finn Løvholt3, and Wolfgang Fellin1
Matthias Rauter et al.
  • 1Unit of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria (
  • 2Department of Water Management, Office of the Tyrolean Regional Government, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 4Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse (IMFT), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 5Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavík, Iceland

Subaerial landslides are among the most complex sources for tsunamis, as several complex processes occur simultaneously in various regimes, with multiple phases interacting. The simulation and prediction of these events is respectively difficult.

We will present a three-dimensional multiphase model (granules, air, water) that considers the  effects and properties that we deem most important: (i) a sharp water-air interface with low diffusivity, (ii) granular rheology for the landslide, (iii) differentiation between effective pressure and pore pressure, as well as (iv) porosity, dilatancy and permeability. No depth-integration or other form of simplification is applied. The resulting mathematical model is solved with the fluid dynamics toolkit OpenFOAM.

Many effects and processes that are lost in depth-integrated models are directly simulated in our approach. This allows the simulation of complex events with a relatively simple model, however for a large computational cost. The model parameters are widely intrinsic material parameters, which promises a prediction of events without significant parameter optimizations.

We will show results for small scale experiments as well as for a well documented real scale event and will give an outlook on further developments and remaining problems.

How to cite: Rauter, M., Viroulet, S., Gylfadóttir, S. S., Løvholt, F., and Fellin, W.: Granular porous landslide tsunami modelling with OpenFOAM, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4804,, 2022.