National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2012

A second generation of tsunami inundation maps for the state of California

Barberopoulou, A., J.C. Borrero, B. Uslu, M. Legg, and C. Synolakis

Pure Appl. Geophys., 168(11), 2133–2146, doi: 10.1007/s00024-011-0293-3 (2011)

A new generation of tsunami inundation maps is now available for 20 coastal counties in California. These maps represent an improvement over previous efforts, as they are based on the most recent descriptions of potential tsunami sources, apply recently updated numerical modeling techniques, and cover previously unmapped regions of the State. Since the maps are based on deterministic rather than probabilistic modeling, they are only intended for emergency preparedness and evacuation planning and are not to be used in engineering siting studies. The California maps cover a greater coastal area than any other US State. To be helpful, the maps need to be integrated into a consistent statewide hazard-planning framework. Indeed, tsunami preparedness in California was tested on several occasions over the past 5 years, i.e., during the 14 June 2005 event, about 90 miles SW of Crescent City, the 15 November 2006 Kuril Islands, and the 27 February 2010 Chile earthquake. We discuss briefly the State’s response as these events unfolded.

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