Updated TSUNAMI model for M9 Cascadia earthquake

tsunami inundation animation

Tsunami animation at hour +3; the first pulse has entered Bellingham Bay (upper right) to a height of around 3 m above sea level. Click to enlarge.

On January 5th the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research released a new model for tsunami inundation in the Straits of Juan de Fuca and inland waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea from a great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

An animation is published by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center and can be watched here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhjsAjZQZeg&app=desktop The animation gives elapsed time on the right and inundation heights in meters. Of particular interest is the effect in the San Juan Islands and Bellingham Bay. Contrary to popular belief, the San Juan Islands DO NOT block the tsunami, but rather concentrate it in the narrow passages. Watch the animation several times and keep an eye on Bellingham Bay, just west of the ‘elevation’ legend, in the northeast corner of the map.

You’ll see that three tsunami pulses enter the Straits over a period of 6 hours after the earthquake. The first pulse enters Bellingham Bay about 3 hours after the earthquake, and reaches a height of 3-5 meters (10-16.5 feet) and remains ponded in the enclosed bay for around 1 hour. The water then recedes to around -1 to -3 m (-3.3 to -10 feet) by the fifth hour, to be followed by a second tsunami pulse at 6 hours, about the same depth as the first. This also drains; the animation ends at the hour 8, as a third pulse is reaching the west coast of Whidbey Island and the San Juans. This one does not appear to be as high as the first two.

The model extends as far south as Olympia. The greatest height in southern Puget Sound occur in narrow constrictions- near Bremerton and Alki Point in Seattle.

The model is worth watching several times- you can stop and start, as well as backtrack with your cursor.

For more info on the model, read the research paper by Venturato et al., 2007:  http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/PDF/vent2949/vent2949.pdf The study focuses on Pacific coastal communities of Washington. The model has been newly extened to inland waters.



NEW TALKS. I will be presenting the behind-the-scenes story of my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington:

SNOHOMISH Saturday February 20th, 2 PM, Sno-Isle Public Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish, WA

TACOMA Thursday February 25 Kings Book Store, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA. Time TBA: http://www.kingsbookstore.com/event/2016-02

DARRINGTON Saturday March 12th, 1 PM, Mountain Loop Books and Coffee, 1085 Darrignton St.

BREMERTON Wednesday May 4th, 7 PM, VFW Hall, 9981 Central Valley Road, Bremerton WA

SEATTLE, ORCAS ISLAND–Stay tuned for upcoming talk details

Upcoming Geology Underfoot author talks


I will be talking about my book in:

OAK HARBOR  Thursday January 21, 3 PM Sno-Isle Public Library, 1000 SE Regatta Dr., Oak Harbor, WA.

SNOHOMISH Saturday February 20th, 2 PM, Sno-Isle Public Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish, WA

TACOMA Thursday February 25 Kings Book Store, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA. Time TBA: http://www.kingsbookstore.com/event/2016-02

In the works: Anacortes, Orcas Island, Seattle

Geology Underfoot author talk in Burlington December 9th

Dear friends,

GUWW cover

Cover art by Eric Knight

I will present an author talk about my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington, at the Burlington Library Wednesday December 9th at 6:30. The book is written for a general audience. The talk lasts about an hour, and will focus on the story behind the book, and a sample reading from a chapter relevant to the Skagit area. Books will be for sale after ($24) as well as the stunning poster based on the cover art ($15).

The Library is at 820 E.Washington Avenue.

Hope to see my Skagit Valley friends there!

Dave Tucker

Link to a map:


Thanks to Port Books and News in Port Angeles, and the Port Townsend Public Library

Port Books and NewsI gave author talks in Port Townsend and Port Angeles last week. Rooms were filled, and I met some great folks. Very special thanks to the hosts of those talks: Alan and Christy at Port Books and News in PA   and Keith Darrock at the Port Townsend Library .port townsend photo

Snohomish book talk postponed


The Geology Underfoot in Western Washington author presentation in SNOHOMISH, scheduled for this coming Saturday, is postponed. The host could not find a large enough space. I’ll post a notice once it is rescheduled.

A reminder that I will be speaking in Bellingham at the WWU Library on November 5th, 4-6 PM, and at the Bellingham REI November 9th at 6 PM. See the full scedule in the MY BOOK tab at the top of this page, or https://nwgeology.wordpress.com/my-book/

Wrong date for Bellingham presentation

I will be at the Bellingham REI on NOVEMBER 9 to talk about my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington. I mistakenly listed it as October 9th elsewhere.




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