Blog Archives

Japan’s Tsunami: How It Happened

Aggeliki Barberopoulou gives an interview on the origins of the 2011 Japan tsunami.
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Earthquake and Tsunami Strikes Japan

On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC an earthquake occurred near the East coast of Honshu, Japan. Continue reading

New assessment of tsunami hazards in San Diego Bay

We assess tsunami hazards in San Diego Bay, California, using newly identified offshore tsunami sources and recently available high resolution bathymetric/topographic data. We simulate locally, regionally and distant-generated tsunamis. Local tsunami source models use more realistic fault and landslide data … Continue reading

Mentawais 2010 Video

Prepared for the National Science Foundation by Costas Synolakis. Appearances by Professors Hermann Fritz, Jose Borrero, Costas Synolakis, and Mr. Vassilios Skanavis. Continue reading

The 25 October 2010 Mentawai Earthquake and Tsunami

On October 25, 2010 a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck south of S. Pagai island off Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed over 400 people. Initial reports related that there was no warning communicated to the Mentawais and that the Indonesian … Continue reading

Waving the Tsunami Warning Flag

Re-posted from the Wall Street Journal Asia: This week’s twin disasters in Indonesia—the eruption of Mount Merapi and the 7.7-magnitude earthquake off west-central Sumatra—have again brought warning systems and emergency preparedness into the spotlight. The resulting view is far from … Continue reading

The 25 October 2010 Sumatran Tsunami

On 25 October 2010 at 14:42 GMT, an estimated magnitude 7.5 earthquake stuck off central West Sumatra. Continue reading

Is Los Angeles at higher risk for tsunamis?

A study just published in Nature Geophysicas by Hornbach et al (2010) reports that the 12 January 2010 strike-slip earthquake that killed over 220,000 people in Haiti also triggered a 3m tsunami. The associated press release (at the end of this item) claims that the study implies that Los Angeles and other metropolitan areas around the world are at higher risk of tsunamis. Continue reading


Okal, E.A., and Synolakis, C.E., 2004, Source discriminants for nearfield tsunamis, Geophysical Journal International, 158, 899-912. Okal, E.A., Borrero, J., and Synolakis, C.E., 2004 The earthquake and tsunami of 1865 November 17: evidence for far-field tsunami hazard from Tonga, Geophysical … Continue reading


The Tsunami Research Center (TRC) was founded in 1995 at USC by Professor Costas Synolakis. The TRC has conducted over 30 post event surveys and has developed the official tsunami inundation maps for California. The Center is involved in government … Continue reading