Mormon studies, Book of Mormon, liquefaction, natural disaster
In a recent BYU Studies article, Bart Kowallis describes how the events of destruction in the Americas at the time of Christ's death can be attributed to a single explosive volcanic eruption. He lists the events that occurred during the destruction as recorded in 3 Nephi, and among those mentioned is the sinking of cities into the sea (3 Ne. 8:9, 14; 9:4, 7; 10:13). As a possible explanation for this phenomena, Kowallis offers accounts of tsunami (tidal waves) and seiche waves (waves generated in lakes), both of which can occur during an explosive volcanic eruption. In conjunction with these two explanations, I would offer a third possible cause for the "many great and notable cities [being] sunk" (3 Ne. 8:14) that is not addressed in Kowallis's article.
Jordan, Benjamin R.
""Many Great and Notable Cities Were Sunk": Liquefaction in the Book of Mormon,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 38:
3, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol38/iss3/12