National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

[Full Text]

FY 2007

Seaside, Oregon Tsunami Pilot Study—Modernization of FEMA Flood Maps: GIS Data

Wong, F.L., A.J. Venturato, and E.L. Geist

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report, Data Series 236, (2007)


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) guidelines do not currently exist for conducting and incorporating tsunami hazard assessments that reflect the substantial advances in tsunami research achieved in the last two decades; this conclusion is the result of two FEMA-sponsored workshops and the associated Tsunami Focused Study (Chowdhury and others, 2005). Therefore, as part of FEMA's Map Modernization Program, a Tsunami Pilot Study was carried out in the Seaside/Gearhart, Oregon, area to develop an improved Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis (PTHA) methodology and to provide recommendations for improved tsunami hazard assessment guidelines (Tsunami Pilot Study Working Group, 2006). The Seaside area was chosen because it is typical of many coastal communities in the section of the Pacific Coast from Cape Mendocino to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and because State agencies and local stakeholders expressed considerable interest in mapping the tsunami threat to this area. The study was an interagency effort by FEMA, U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in collaboration with the University of Southern California, Middle East Technical University, Portland State University, Horning Geoscience, Northwest Hydraulics Consultants, and the Oregon Department of Geological and Mineral Industries. We present the spatial (geographic information system, GIS) data from the pilot study in standard GIS formats and provide files for visualization in Google Earth, a global map viewer.

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