TSUNAMI HAZARD MITIGATION FOR ALASKA

Coastal Alaska lives with the most serious tsunami risk in the United States. Historically, tsunamis generated by earthquakes in Alaska have caused damage and loss of life along the West Coast and across the Pacific. Here in Alaska, though, tsunamis generated by nearby earthquakes represent “near-field” hazards. In other words, people have minutes rather than hours to reach safety.

The Earthquake Center works to make our coastal communities safer by providing state and local officials with the best possible information for addressing the tsunami hazards faced by their communities.

Click on the map at right to explore our interactive mapping interface. Zoom to your area of interest by selecting a community and map type. You can also toggle between map and satellite views at the top right. At present, the interactive map includes flow depths and inundation boundaries for 21 at-risk communities.

INUNDATION MAPPING PROJECT

In partnership with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys and the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, we evaluate and map potential inundation using numerical modeling of tsunami wave dynamics.

Communities are selected with consideration to their tsunami hazard exposure, location, infrastructure, availability of data, and willingness to incorporate the results into a hazard mitigation plan. The maps incorporate the best tsunami science available at the time of publication.

Click to enter interactive tsunami inundation mapping interface

Tsunami News

Since 1998 the Alaska Earthquake Center has partnered with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys and the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to produce maps that display tsunami hazards for coastal communities. These tsunami inundation maps show areas that would be flooded during a worst-case tsunami event.

The tsunami maps are now available through a mobile-friendly web tool. The tool allows you to quickly access communities with inundation products and explore various types of data in an online map interface. You can zoom in and out of areas of interest, turn data layers on and off, and even quickly share your map and settings with others, not to mention the ability to bookmark your map for future use.

You can access the map by visiting tsunami.alaska.edu or clicking on Tsunamis > Tsunami Inundation Maps above.

The following instructional video walks you through the tool’s use and its new features.

Pedestrian Travel Time Maps

For communities that have well-defined tsunami scenarios, it is possible to estimate the amount of time required to evacuate to high ground. These models assume evacuation by foot and include complications such as ground cover, steep terrain, and other barriers identified by the community. The full methodology is described in this overview white paper.

Maritime Response Guidance Documents

Maritime response guidance documents for the following communities:

provide response guidance in the event of tsunamis for small vessels such as recreational sailing and motor vessels, and commercial fishing vessels. The developed documents follows the draft guidance developed by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) and are based on anticipated effects of a maximum-considered distant and locally generated tsunami event.