On 11 March 2011, the Tohoku Tsunami overtopped a weir and penetrated 49 km up the Kitakami River, the fourth largest river in Japan [1]. Similarly, the 2010 Chile tsunami propagated at least 15 km up the Maule River [2]. In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, large tsunamis have occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone, most recently the ‘orphan tsunami’ of 1700 (Atwater et al. [3]). The expected future occurrence of a Cascadia tsunami and its penetration into the Lower Columbia River became the subject of “the Workshop on Tsunami Hydrodynamics in a Large River” held in Corvallis, Oregon, 2011. We found that tsunami penetration into the Columbia River is quite different from a typical river. The tsunami enters the vast river estuary through the relatively narrow river mouth of the Columbia, which damps and diffuses its energy. The tsunami transforms into a long period, small amplitude wave that advances to Portland, 173 km from the ocean. Understanding this unique tsunami behavior is important for preparing a forthcoming Cascadia tsunami event.

Authors: 
Harry Yeh et al
Short Description: 
The expected future occurrence of a Cascadia tsunami and its penetration into the Lower Columbia River became the subject of “the Workshop on Tsunami Hydrodynamics in a Large River” held in Corvallis, Oregon, 2011.
Product Number: 
ORESU-R-12-002
Entry Date: 
Monday, June 24, 2013
Length: 
5 pp.
Miscellaneous: 
Additional authors: Elena Tolkova, David Jay, Stefan Talke, and Hermann Fritz.
Source (Journal Article): 
Journal of Disaster Research 7(5):604-608
Year of Publication: 
2012