The third SAFRR scenario is initiated by a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake in the eastern Aleutian Islands, an event presenting a hypothetical but plausible distant-tsunami threat to southern and central California. USGS and other federal and state agencies entities developed the SAFRR tsunami scenario. The scenario describes wave heights, current velocities and inundation for the coast of California. Physical damages and disruption are estimated for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, marinas, near-coast roadways, and coastal property. Population vulnerability is evaluated for the inundation zone. These analyses are further translated into environmental, ecological, and economic implications to inform options for public policy, emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response. The tsunami scenario development began in January 2011 and was published in September, 2013 (link to report) prior to a series of workshops for the coastal counties.
USGS Western Geographic Science Center Contributions
For the SAFRR Tsunami scenario, WGSC coordinated analyses of population vulnerability and economic consequences. Nate Wood led the assessment of population, pubic places and businesses in the scenario inundation zone (link to report). Wein collaborated with Adam Rose and Dan Wei (University of California) and Ian Sue Wing (Boston University) to analyze the economic consequences to the state of California (link to report). The direct and indirect economic impacts were derived from disrupted trade through the ports of Los Angeles and Long beach, damages to boats and docks at marinas, and coastal property damages. Wein and Wei investigated forms of economic resilience (e.g., uses of inventories and spare capacity) at the ports. Business interruption losses were aggregated and estimated in a computer general equilibrium model of northern and southern California economies. WGSC managed the contract for an evaluation of the SAFRR scenario development process led by Liesel Ritchie, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Figures on right:
(top) Map of estimated tsunami-related wave force and inundation extent in the Long Beach, CA. area, as modeled using the Next Wave tsunami scenario development model.
(bottom) Map showing inundation zones for the SAFRR tsunami scenario and the statewide maximum zone, as well as estimated residential population counts (based on 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data) for island communities in Newport Beach, California.