Seismological Research Letters Volume 79, Number 5 September/October 2008 609
Crescent City, locted in Del Norte County on the Cliornicost bout 460 k north o Sn Frncisco (Figure 1), hs su-ered ore icts ro historic tsunis thn ny other co-unity on the west cost o the United Sttes (Dengler ndMgoon 2006). Tirty-one tsunis hve been observed tthis sll costl city (oultion 7,542) since tide guge wsestblished in 1933, including 11 events with xiu ek-to-trough wve rnge exceeding 1 eter nd our tht cuseddge (Ntionl Geohysicl Dt Center 2008;
Te ost recent dg-ing tsuni, nd the rst tsuni to cuse signicnt ro-erty dge in the United Sttes since 1964, occurred on 15Noveber 2006. It ws cused by n
8.3 erthquke on thecentrl Kuril trench nd roduced strong currents in CrescentHrbor tht dged docks in the sll bot bsin.Five tsunis generted by erthqukes in the Kuril Islndshve been recorded t Crescent City since the tide guge wsinstlled, but only the 2006 event cused dge. Te erth-qukes were siilr in gnitude (7.9 to 8.4) nd vried slightlyin loction reltive to Crescent City. Tis study exines whthened in the 2006 tsuni t Crescent City nd why thistsuni ws ore dging thn other recent events. We usethe Method o Slitting suni (MOS) odel (itov ndGonzles 1997; itov nd Synolkis 1998) to siulte threerecent tsunis triggered by siilr-sized erthqukes on theKuril trench nd exine which segents o the Kuril-Jnsubduction zones hve the gretest otentil to ict CrescentCity.
KURIL ISLANDS–GENERATED TSUNAMIS ATCRESCENT CITY
Te Kuril Islnds trench in the northwestern Pcic rksthe convergent lte boundry between the Pcic nd NorthAericn ltes (Figure 2). Te Pcic lte is subducting underneth the Kuril Islnds rc in WNW direction o 81/yr; subduction occurs ore ridly only long the ongnd Loylty-Vnutu boundries (Stein nd Okl 2007).At lest 47 tsunigenic erthqukes o robble gni-tude 7 or lrger hve been generted on the Kuril trench ndnorthestern Jn trench since 1700 (Ntionl GeohysiclDt Center 2008). Since 1958, seven erthqukes o g-nitude 7.9 or lrger hve occurred on the Kuril trench, six o which generted tsunis tht were recorded on tide guges onthe west cost o North Aeric, distnce o ore thn 6,000kiloeters ro the source region (ble 1).All but one o the six Kuril Islnd tsunis detected on the West Cost were recorded in Crescent City Hrbor. Te tideguge recording or the one event not detected hs not beenound, nd it is uncler whether the instruent ws oerting t the tie. For the recorded events, litudes t CrescentCity were either the lrgest or second lrgest o ny West Costsite. Te 15 Noveber 2006
8.3 erthquke roduced thelrgest Kuril-generted tsuni in Crescent City since the tideguge ws instlled.
16 November 2006 Tsunami
On 15 Noveber 2006 t 11:14 UC (3:14 am PS on theU.S. west cost), n
8.3 erthquke occurred in the KurilIslnds trench. Te West Cost Alsk suni Wrning Center (WCAWC) issued n initil lert bulletin 15 inuteser the erthquke, nd subsequent bulletins were issued troxitely hl-hour intervls exnding wrning nd wtchres. At the ek o the wrning lert, counities ro theAleutin Islnds to the Alsk Peninsul were lced in tsu-ni wrning, Southern Alsk to Northern Wshington ws lced in tsuni wtch, nd the reinder o the West Cost ws lced in the lowest lert level, n dvisory. Wter heights esured by tide guges in Hokkido, Jn,nd t Shey in the western Aleutin Islnds were bout hl eter nd indicted tht lrge tsuni ws not exected long the Alskn or the U.S. Pcic cost. WCAWC cnceled the wrning nd wtch t 6:42 am PS, three nd one-hl hourser the erthquke. During the elevted lert eriod, CrescentCity ws never lced bove n dvisory.
The Vulnerability o Crescent City, Caliornia, to Tsunamis Generated by Earthquakes in the Kuril Islands Region o the Northwestern Pacifc
L. Dengler, B. Uslu, A. Barberopoulou, J. Borrero, and C. Synolakis
and C. Synolakis
Huboldt Stte University
University o Southern Cliorni
Currently t Ntionl Ocenic nd Atosheric Adinistrtion PcicMrine Environentl Lbortory
Costl Science Grou ASR Liited