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 in a comprehensive mitigation plan. The maps incorporate the best tsunami science available at the time of publication.

PUBLISHED REPORTSMAPPING UNDERWAY

IN PUBLICATION

  • Adak and Atka

IN REVIEW

  • Kodiak Region

IN PREPARATION

  • Anchor Point, Port Graham and Nanwalek
  • False Pass and Perryville
  • Haines
  • Homer
  • Port Alexander, Craig and Ketchikan
  • Seldovia
  • Shemya
  • Skagway

 

Click to enter interactive tsunami inundation mapping interface

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.

  • PUBLISHED REPORTS
  •  
  • Chignik Bay
  • Homer
  • King Cove
  • Unalaska/Dutch Harbor
  •  
  • IN PROGRESS
  •  
  • Whittier
  • Kodiak
  • Perryville

Tsunami News

At 12:31am on January 23, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska about 180 miles southeast of Kodiak Island (see figure 1). It was the second time in three years that an early morning January earthquake woke Alaskans across the state. In 2014, the magnitude 7.1 Iniskin earthquake had brought Southcentral’s most violent shaking in recent memory. By contrast, Anchorage residents described the magnitude 7.9 as a far gentler ride, and there were no reports of significant damage.