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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessment of tsunami hazards on the British Columbia coast due to a local megathrust subduction earthquake Ng, Max Kin-Fat


Strong evidence suggests that the Cascadia subduction zone, off the west coast of Canada and the United States, is strongly seismically-coupled and that a possible megathrust earthquake might occur in that area in the near future. A study of tsunami hazards along the Canadian west coast associated with such a hypothetical earthquake is presented in this report. Numerical simulations of tsunami generation and propagation have been carried out using three models based on shallow water wave theory. Three cases of ground motion representing the ruptures of different crustal segments in the area have been examined. Computed results provide information on tsunami arrival times and a general view of the wave height distribution. The outer coast of Vancouver Island was found to be the most strongly affected area. At the head of Alberni Inlet, wave amplitudes reached up to three times the source magnitude. Inside the Strait of Georgia, the wave heights are significant enough to receive closer attention, especially in low-lying areas.

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