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Seaside, Oregon Harry Yeh Oregon State University Seaside, Oregon, Tsunami Pilot Study – Modernization of FEMA Flood Hazard Maps A Tsunami Pilot Study was carried out in the Seaside area to develop a Tsunami Hazard Analysis methodology as part of FEMA's Map Modernization Program.

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Seaside, Oregon

Harry Yeh

Oregon State University


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Seaside, Oregon, Tsunami Pilot Study – Modernization of FEMA Flood Hazard Maps

  • A Tsunami Pilot Study was carried out in the Seaside area to develop a Tsunami Hazard Analysis methodology as part of FEMA's Map Modernization Program.

  • The Seaside area was chosen because it is typical of many coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest Coast, and because State agencies and local stakeholders expressed considerable interest in mapping the tsunami threat to this area.

  • Concern with tsunamis generated by Cascadia subduction.


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Potential Tsunami Sources FEMA Flood Hazard Maps


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Examples of co-seismic vertical sea floor displacement FEMA Flood Hazard Maps

Tsunami sources of Cascadia Subduction Earthquake


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Discovery of Great Cascadia FEMA Flood Hazard Maps

Earthquake on January 26, 1700

  • Paleo-tsunami deposits, radio-carbon and tree ring dating of vegetation killed by an earthquake along Pacific Northwest coast (1987, Science)

  • Historical (“OLD”) documentation of coastal flooding in Japan (1996, Nature)

  • Legends and myths of Pacific Northwest Native Americans.


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Paleo-tsunami deposits FEMA Flood Hazard Maps

At Willapa Bay, Washington

Old Japanese Documents

on Coastal Flooding on January 1700

(Atwater, 2005)


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The 1964 FEMA Flood Hazard MapsGreat Alaskan Tsunami Inundation in Seaside

Tsunami Deposits


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Tsunami Deposits found in Seaside FEMA Flood Hazard Maps

Older Events

1964 Akaska

1700 Cascadia


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Map of 100- and 500-year flood zones overlaid on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Seaward limit is mean lower low water.

Line showing extent of deposits from tsunami generated by 1700 Cascadia earthquake is included for comparison.

Evacuation distance to high-ground safe haven from the beach is approximately 2 km.


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Tsunami Simulation Insurance Rate Maps.


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Tsunami Shelters Insurance Rate Maps.

Nishiki Tower in Japan


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Demonstration of the effectiveness of tsunami shelters Insurance Rate Maps.

Two Tsunami Shelters

No Shelter



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