Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR)
The USGS and other federal and state agencies entities are developing a California tsunami scenario to depict a single realistic outcome of a hypothetical but plausible distant-source tsunami affecting the west coast of the United States. The scenario includes earth-science effects, damage and restoration of the built environment, and social and economic impacts. Like the earlier disaster scenarios, the purpose of the Tsunami Scenario is to apply science to explain and understand the impacts of natural disasters, in this case, tsunami. The tsunami scenario development began in January 2011 and will conclude in 2013.
The scenario begins with the occurrence of a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake in the eastern Aleutian Islands, an event that presents the greatest distant-tsunami threat to southern and central California. Wave heights and velocities are estimated throughout the Pacific Basin, but focus on southern California, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and other ports and harbors. Impacts on vessels and marine structures, near-coast roadways, communities, and lifelines and the resulting supply-chain impacts are of major interest in this analysis. Options for public policy, emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response will be identified and discussed; and research needs across all topics will be identified. Useful project products include technical reports, websites, journal articles, YouTube videos, nontechnical briefing materials, educational kits, and public briefings.
Anne Wein is coordinating the analyses of regional and national economic impacts of the tsunami by continuing collaborations with Adam Rose, Dan Wei and Ian Sue Wing. Economic and business impacts are currently focused on the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and their suppliers and customers to examine effects of disruptions to imports, exports, and onsite activities and operations. Economic resilience such as ship rerouting, export diversion, use of inventories, substitution and relocation will be considered.
Nathan Wood is coordinating social vulnerability and community exposure analyses for California tsunami and the development of pedestrian-evacuation modeling approaches for near-field tsunami through an integration of least-cost and dasymetric models. Wood’s past research includes USGS reports summarizing variations in community exposure to tsunami in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington and journal articles describing various geospatial techniques to assess societal vulnerability to tsunami.
Images on the right: Examples of the coastal areas in southern California that are threatened by tsunamis (A) Long Beach Marina, (B) Crystal Cove State Beach, (C) Sewage Plant, El Segundo and (D) Port of Long Beach (Copyright (C) 2002-2012 Kenneth and Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project, www.Californiacoastline.org)