In a recent contribution, Geist (2000) examines several characteristics of the 1998 Papua New Guinea (PNG) earthquake and tsunami and suggests that they can be explained by a standard dislocation in an elastic Earth without the need to invoke a landslide or slump as the mechanism of generation of the locally catastrophic tsunami.

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We wish to emphasize that we agree with overwhelming evidence indicating that tsunamigenic events are never purely “tectonic” (i.e., in the nature of an elastic dislocation) nor due to pure slumps. Most earthquakes trigger landslides; indeed aerial rockslides are well documented in the immediate...

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