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Geologic Hazards on the Oregon Coast
Tsunami Movie

A computer simulation movie of a tsunami striking the Oregon Coast

This file is 8.1 MB. It may take a few minutes to load and play.

Explanation of the TSUNAMI MOVIE:

The file is in QuickTime format and can be viewed by downloading the viewing software from .

This video clip shows a computer simulation of two hours of tsunami wave propagation that could be caused by a ~magnitude 9 earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone fault system. The simulation shows the regional wave propagation on the left plus detailed tsunami inundation at two enlarged maps on the right, one for the Seaside-Gearhart and one for Yaquina Bay at Newport. The regional map stretches from Grays Harbor, Washington on the north to Brookings on the south.

CAUTION: This video file shows the first two hours of tsunami propagation, but dangerous waves may strike low-lying areas for up to 10 hours after the initial tsunami wave strikes shore. The event of a tsunami, do not return to low-lying areas until local officials give the “all clear” to do so.

The initial tsunami wave shown in the first frame of the animation lies about 50-70 miles offshore of most of the Oregon coast and exactly duplicates the expected seafloor deformation that would probably accompany a ~magnitude 9 earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone. The large orange area immediately west of Newport is an area of higher seafloor uplift (and tsunami wave height) placed for examination of a worst-case scenario tsunami for the Newport area. The area of uplift, termed an “asperity” by scientists, is based on the general size and height of an asperity that was measured in the Alaska 1964 subduction zone earthquake. The asperity and the other predicted areas of uplift and subsidence should be considered possibilities in a spectrum of possible scenarios for this event. The actual event will likely depart significantly from these scenarios. See the following reference for a full explanation of the way that tsunami hazard mapping scenarios have been developed by DOGAMI:

Priest, G.R., Myers, E., Baptista, A., Kamphaus R.A., Peterson, C.D., 1997, Cascadia subduction zone tsunamis: hazard mapping at Yaquina Bay, Oregon: Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Open-File Report O-97-34, 144 p.


The clip should be credited to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Oregon Heath Sciences University (OGI). The clip was produced ~1998-2000 by OGI under contract to DOGAMI. The clip is being released on the DOGAMI website to facilitate the understanding of the tsunami hazard posed to the Pacific Northwest coast by the Cascadia subduction zone.

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Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
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