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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1018

The Limit of Inundation of the September 29, 2009, Tsunami on Tutuila, American Samoa

By Bruce E. Jaffe, Guy Gelfenbaum, Mark L. Buckley, Steve Watt, Alex Apotsos, Andrew W. Stevens, and Bruce M. Richmond


Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (13.2 MB)

U.S. Geological Survey scientists investigated the coastal impacts of the September 29, 2009, South Pacific tsunami in Tutuila, American Samoa in October and November 2009, including mapping the alongshore variation in the limit of inundation. Knowing the inundation limit is useful for planning safer coastal development and evacuation routes for future tsunamis and for improving models of tsunami hazards. This report presents field data documenting the limit of inundation at 18 sites around Tutuila collected in the weeks following the tsunami using Differential GPS (DGPS). In total, 15,703 points along inundation lines were mapped. Estimates of DGPS error and uncertainty in interpretation of the inundation line are provided as electronic files that accompany this report.

Last modified February 18, 2010
First posted February 3, 2010

  • Report PDF (13.2 MB)
  • Inundation line data .zip file (1.6 MB; opens to an 18.5-MB folder). UTM coordinates (WGS 1984 UTM Zone 2S) of the inundation limit, as well as DGPS and interpretation uncertainty, are provided in three file types: (1) a comma-delimited text file, (2) a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and (3) an ESRI shapefile.
  • Metadata folder (44 kB); two file types: ASCII and FAQ as html
  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Western Coastal and Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, California 95060

Part of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Jaffe, B.E., Gelfenbaum, Guy, Buckley, M.L., Watt, Steve, Apotsos, Alex, Stevens, A.W., and Richmond, B.M., 2010, The limit of inundation of the September 29, 2009, tsunami on Tutuila, American Samoa: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1018, 27 p.





Uncertainty in Location of the Inundation Line

Inundation Limits




GIS data package

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