Tsunami hazard along the U.S. Atlantic coast Academic Article uri icon


  • Assessment of natural hazards typically relies on analysis of past occurrences of similar disaster events. Assessment of tsunami hazard to the Atlantic coast of the Unites States poses a scientific challenge because of the paucity of both historical events and pre-historic tsunami evidence. The Atlantic coast of the U.S., also known as the U.S. East Coast, is highly vulnerable to tsunami damage because major population centers and industrial facilities are located near the shoreline at low-lying elevations. This is in comparison with the Pacific coast of the United States where tsunamis are more frequent but the coastal regions are more sparsely populated and the emergent coastline has much more relief. The challenge for scientists is therefore to define and quantify the hazard for these rare events.

publication date

  • August 2009