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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1229

Tohoku-Oki Earthquake Tsunami Runup and Inundation Data for Sites Around the Island of Hawaiʻi

By Frank A. Trusdell, Amy Chadderton, Graham Hinchliffe, Andrew Hara, Brent Patenge, and Tom Weber

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (14.9 MB)Introduction

At 0546 U.t.c. March 11, 2011, a Mw 9.0 (“great”) earthquake occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu Island, Japan, generating a large tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan and impacted many far-flung coastal sites around the Pacific Basin. After the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for the State of Hawaii, followed by a tsunami-warning notice from the local State Civil Defense on March 10, 2011 (Japan is 19 hours ahead of Hawaii). After the waves passed the islands, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) measured inundation (maximum inland distance of flooding), runup (elevation at maximum extent of inundation) and took photographs in coastal areas around the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Although the damage in West Hawaiʻi is well documented, HVO’s mapping revealed that East Hawaiʻi’s coastlines were also impacted by the tsunami. The intent of this report is to provide runup and inundation data for sites around the Island of Hawaiʻi.

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact HVO
Volcano Science Center, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
U.S. Geological Survey
P.O. Box 51, 1 Crater Rim Road
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0051

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Suggested citation:

Trusdell, F.A., Chadderton, A., Hinchliffe, G., Hara, A. Patenge, B., and Weber, T., 2012, Tohoku-Oki earthquake tsunami runup and inundation data for sites around the Island of Hawaiʻi: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1229, 36 p.. (Available at





References Cited


Appendixes A and B

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