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Tsunami–tide interaction in 1964 Prince William Sound tsunami

TitleTsunami–tide interaction in 1964 Prince William Sound tsunami
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsZhang Y, Witter RC, Priest GR
Journal TitleOcean Modelling

We conduct a comprehensive modeling study of the impact of the 1964 Prince William Sound tsunami on the US Pacific Northwest coast. A 3D unstructured grid model, SELFE, is applied in its 2D spherical coordinate configuration. Simulations are conducted with and without dynamic tides to elucidate their influence. We compare numerical results with tide gauge records, maximum wave heights, runups, and inundation extents at several locations in the region. Detailed inundation patterns at Coos Bay and Cannon Beach, Oregon are compared to field estimates. The model results are shown to be in very good agreement with field observations. The results demonstrate that while negligible at the open coast, the tide–tsunami interaction is solely responsible for inundation around some estuaries and rivers.