Tsunami hazards to U.S. coasts from giant earthquakes in Alaska

Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
By: , and 



In the aftermath of Japan's devastating 11 March 2011Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, scientists are considering whether and how a similar tsunami could be generated along the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone (AASZ). A tsunami triggered by an earthquake along the AASZ would cross the Pacific Ocean and cause extensive damage along highly populated U.S. coasts, with ports being particularly vulnerable. For example, a tsunami in 1946 generated by a Mw 8.6 earthquake near Unimak Pass, Alaska (Figure 1a), caused significant damage along the U.S. West Coast, took 150 lives in Hawaii, and inundated shorelines of South Pacific islands and Antarctica [Fryer et al., 2004; Lopez and Okal, 2006]. The 1946 tsunami occurred before modern broadband seismometers were in place, and the mechanisms that created it remain poorly understood.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Tsunami hazards to U.S. coasts from giant earthquakes in Alaska
Series title Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
DOI 10.1029/2012EO190001
Volume 93
Issue 19
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 2 p.
First page 185
Last page 186
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