Maritime tsunami evacuation guidelines for the Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon

Maritime tsunami evacuation guidelines for the Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon Recent tsunamis affecting the West Coast of the USA have resulted in significant damage to ports and harbors, as well as to recreational and commercial vessels attempting to escape the tsunami. With the completion of tsunami inundation simulations for a distant tsunami originating from the Aleutian Islands and a locally generated tsunami on the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ), the State of Oregon is now able to provide guidance on the magnitudes and directions of the simulated currents for the Oregon coast and shelf region. Our analyses indicate that first wave arrivals for an Aleutian Island event would take place on the north coast, ~ 3 h 40 min after the start of the earthquake, ~ 20 min later on the southern Oregon coast. The simulations demonstrated significant along-coast variability in both the tsunamis water levels and currents, caused by localized bathymetric effects (e.g., submarine banks and reefs). A locally generated CSZ event would reach the open coast within 7–13 min; maximum inundation occurs at ~ 30–40 min. As the tsunami current velocities increase, the potential for damage in ports and harbors correspondingly increases, while also affecting a vessels ability to maintain control out on the ocean. Scientific consensus suggests that tsunami currents < 1.54 m/s are unlikely to impact maritime safety in ports and harbors. No such guidance is available for boats operating on the ocean, though studies undertaken in Japan suggest that velocities in the region of 1–2 m/s may be damaging to boats. In addition to the effects of currents, there is the added potential for wave amplification of locally generated wind waves interacting with opposing tsunami currents in the offshore. Our analyses explore potential wave amplification effects for a range of generic sea states, ultimately producing a nomogram of wave amplification for a range of wave and opposing current conditions. These data will be useful for US Coast Guard and Port authorities as they evaluate maritime tsunami evacuation options for the Oregon coast. Finally, we identify three regions of hazard (high, moderate, and low) across the Oregon shelf, which can be used to help guide final designation of tsunami maritime evacuation zones for the coast. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Natural Hazards Springer Journals

Maritime tsunami evacuation guidelines for the Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply
Subject
Earth Sciences; Natural Hazards; Hydrogeology; Geophysics/Geodesy; Geotechnical Engineering & Applied Earth Sciences; Civil Engineering; Environmental Management
ISSN
0921-030X
eISSN
1573-0840
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11069-018-3372-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent tsunamis affecting the West Coast of the USA have resulted in significant damage to ports and harbors, as well as to recreational and commercial vessels attempting to escape the tsunami. With the completion of tsunami inundation simulations for a distant tsunami originating from the Aleutian Islands and a locally generated tsunami on the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ), the State of Oregon is now able to provide guidance on the magnitudes and directions of the simulated currents for the Oregon coast and shelf region. Our analyses indicate that first wave arrivals for an Aleutian Island event would take place on the north coast, ~ 3 h 40 min after the start of the earthquake, ~ 20 min later on the southern Oregon coast. The simulations demonstrated significant along-coast variability in both the tsunamis water levels and currents, caused by localized bathymetric effects (e.g., submarine banks and reefs). A locally generated CSZ event would reach the open coast within 7–13 min; maximum inundation occurs at ~ 30–40 min. As the tsunami current velocities increase, the potential for damage in ports and harbors correspondingly increases, while also affecting a vessels ability to maintain control out on the ocean. Scientific consensus suggests that tsunami currents < 1.54 m/s are unlikely to impact maritime safety in ports and harbors. No such guidance is available for boats operating on the ocean, though studies undertaken in Japan suggest that velocities in the region of 1–2 m/s may be damaging to boats. In addition to the effects of currents, there is the added potential for wave amplification of locally generated wind waves interacting with opposing tsunami currents in the offshore. Our analyses explore potential wave amplification effects for a range of generic sea states, ultimately producing a nomogram of wave amplification for a range of wave and opposing current conditions. These data will be useful for US Coast Guard and Port authorities as they evaluate maritime tsunami evacuation options for the Oregon coast. Finally, we identify three regions of hazard (high, moderate, and low) across the Oregon shelf, which can be used to help guide final designation of tsunami maritime evacuation zones for the coast.

Journal

Natural HazardsSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2018

References

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