Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Hazards

Coastal and Offshore Hazards: USGS makes detailed seafloor maps of offshore geology to identify faults and underwater landslides. The results help coastal communities become more resilient to marine geologic hazards that include earthquakes and tsunamis. We also develop statistical and computer models of earthquake and tsunami recurrence to help manage risk.

Filter Total Items: 57
Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Completed

Native American Legends of Tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest

For general interest, studies and accounts regarding Native American Legends of possible tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest are excerpted below. Much of the information on this page was presented by Jim Bergeron, Oregon Sea Grant, Astoria Extension at a 1995 Meeting in Seaside, Oregon. Those interested in the subject are encouraged to refer to the original reports:

Heaton, T. H., and...

Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Barter Island, Alaska

For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

Date published: March 15, 2019
Status: Active

Preliminary simulation of the 2017 Mexico tsunami

Preliminary simulation of the tsunami from the September 8, 2017 M=8.1 intermediate-depth earthquake offshore of Chiapas, Mexico

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: March 4, 2019
Status: Active

Preliminary simulations of the 2010 Chilean tsunami

Preliminary simulations of the 2010 Chilean tsunami from the 27 February 2010 M=8.8 subduction zone earthquake, offshore Bio-Bio, Chile

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: October 27, 2018
Status: Active

Global Geoengineering Research

The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center geotechnical group investigates the causes of ground deformation and ground failure as a result of earthquakes, storms, and wave action

Contacts: Robert Kayen
Date published: October 4, 2018
Status: Active

Life of a Tsunami

Life of a Tsunami

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: September 28, 2018
Status: Active

Local Tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest

In the past century, several damaging tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest coast (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington). All of these tsunamis were distant tsunamis generated from earthquakes located far across the Pacific basin and are distinguished from tsunamis generated by earthquakes near the coast—termed local tsunamis.

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: September 20, 2018
Status: Completed

Could It Happen Here?

The Question: Soon after the devastating tsunamis in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 and in Japan on March 11, 2011, many people have asked, "Could such a tsunami happen in the United States?" This web page summarizes what we know about tsunamis that have struck the U.S. in the past, providing a foundation for estimating tsunami likelihood in the future. Below, we outline the sources of...

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: September 14, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Law of the Sea

The USGS Law of the Sea project helps identify the submerged extent of the U.S. land territory beyond 200 nautical miles. This land area, called the extended continental shelf (ECS), is an important maritime zone with resources and marine habitats. Its size may exceed one million square kilometers, encompassing areas in the Arctic, Atlantic, Bering Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific west coast....

Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

The Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Centers are monitoring this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of Transportation.

Date published: October 31, 2017
Status: Completed

Preliminary Simulations of Recent Tsunamis

A collection of computer simulations of significant tsunamis.

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: December 1, 2009
Status: Completed

USGS Scientists in Samoa and American Samoa Studying Impacts of Tsunami in 2009

On September 29, 2009, an M 8.1 earthquake in the Samoa Islands region of the South Pacific Ocean caused a tsunami that resulted in 100's of lost lives. A rapid-response team of USGS scientists traveled to the Samoa Islands in October-November 2009 to collect time-sensitive data that would have been quickly...

Contacts: Bruce Jaffe