The impact of a tsunami can vary greatly across short distances due to differences in topography, building structures, concentration of economic activities in the inundation zone, and economic linkages beyond the inundation zone. This study takes these factors into account in an analysis of a potential tsunami on the West Coast of the United States. An integrated engineering-economic model is proposed that uses detailed information on spatial heterogeneities in flood depth and economic activity by connecting engineering estimates of tax-lot physical damage with economic activity at the sector level. The performance of this new approach, in terms of estimated total losses and the distribution of impacts across sectors, is compared with two prominent alternatives.
Authors:Chen, Yunguang, Hyoungsu Park, Yong Chen, Bruce Weber, Jeff Reimer, Daniel Cox and Patrick Corcoran