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Producing tsunami inundation maps: The California experience

Borrero, J
Yalçıner, Ahmet Cevdet
Kanoglu, U
Titov, V
McCarthy, D
Synolakis, CE
More than 20 tsunami events have impacted the State of California in the past two centuries. While some earlier 19th century reports are subject to interpretation, there is little question that offshore seismic sources exist and could trigger tsunamis directly or through coseismic submarine offshore landslides or slumps. Given the intense coastal land use and recreational activities along the coast of California, even a small hazard may pose high risk. California presents nontrivial challenges for assessing tsunami hazards, including a short historic record and the possibility of nearshore events with less than 20min propagation times to the target coastlines. Here we present a brief history of earlier reports to assess tsunami hazards in the State, and our methodology for developing the first generation inundation maps. Our results are based on worst case scenario events and suggest inundation heights up to 13m. These maps are only to be used for emergency preparedness and evacuation planning.