Tsunami and Earthquake Research

Science Center Objects

Here you will find general information on the science behind tsunami generation, computer animations of tsunamis, and summaries of past field studies. 

The scope of tsunami research within the USGS, however, is broader than the topics covered here. USGS researchers have also provided critical research toward understanding how sediments are transported during tsunami runup and deciphering the geologic record of prehistoric tsunamis. The USGS collaborates closely with the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research.

As part of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, the USGS has also upgraded the seismograph network and communication functions of the U.S. Tsunami Warning Center.

Soon after the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 many people have asked, “Could such a tsunami happen in the United States?” As a starting point, read “Could It Happen Here?