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Abstract

On the north shore of the St Lawrence Estuary (Québec, Canada), near the Betsiamites river delta, a large sub-aerial submarine landslide complex was mapped using multi-beam bathymetry and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. Previous analysis of this landslide complex revealed that, since 7250 cal years BP, at least four different landsliding events occurred to form the present morphology, in which over 2 km3 of material have been mobilized. The 7.25 cal ka BP landslide is of particular interest here: this landslide is entirely submarine and mobilized about 1.3 km3 of material, deposited over an area of 54 km2, which make this landslide the largest identified on the St Lawrence estuary seafloor. This landslide showed a runout distance of about 15 km. Landslide-generated tsunamis may be triggered by such a landslide, where a large volume of material is mobilized in a short time. Kinematic analysis of this landslide was previously performed, and here we use these analyses in order to perform tsunami wave generation and propagation modelling. It is shown in this analysis that, even if the mobilized volume is very high and there is a long runout, the tsunami generated is small with tsunami wave amplitudes of <1.5 m, except in the vicinity of the landslide. The highest tide elevation in this part of the St Lawrence Estuary is about 5.5 m, so the impact of such a tsunami wave may be limited.

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