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Tsunami Travel Time Maps: Tsunami Sources

  • Maps generated using Tsunami Travel Time (TTT) software: calculates first-arrival travel times on a grid for a tsunami generated at an earthquake epicenter

  • Map contours: 1-hour intervals:

    • Red: 1-4 hour arrival times
    • Yellow: 5-6 hour arrival times
    • Green: 7-14 hour arrival times
    • Blue: 15-21 hour arrival times

  • Maps were generated from earthquake epicenters in the NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database using NGDC 2-Minute Gridded Global Relief Data bathymetry

  • NOTE: Maps do not provide the height or the strength of the wave, only the arrival times

  • "Event Details" links to runups (observed wave locations). In some cases, runups have observed tsunami arrival times, which can be compared with the map calculated arrival times. Calculated times are usually within 1 hour of the observed travel times, but can differ by more than 1 hour, particularly when the location is across the Pacific Basin (why times may be different)

November 1, 1755 Lisbon, Portugal

Tsunami travel time map for the November 1,1755 Lisbon, Portugal Earthquake

A large earthquake, Modified Mercalli Intensity XI, in Lisbon, Portugal, caused damage to north of Granada, Spain. The earthquake generated a tsunami that affected the coasts of Portugal, Spain, North Africa, and the Caribbean. The tsunami reached Lisbon about 20 minutes after the first destructive shock. It rose to about 6 meters at many points along the Portuguese coast and reached 12 meters in some places. It also affected the coast of Morocco where the streets of Safi were flooded. The tsunami reached Antigua about 9.3 hours after the earthquake. Later waves, with estimated runup heights of 7 meters, were observed at Saba, Netherlands, Antilles. The earthquake and tsunami killed between 60,000 and 100,000 people.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


October 11, 1918 Puerto Rico

Tsunami travel time map for the October 11,1918 Puerto Rico Earthquake

A magnitude 7.3 Mw earthquake on October 11, 1918, in the Mona Passage, west of Puerto Rico, was caused by displacement along four segments of a normal fault, oriented N-S in the Mona Canyon. The earthquake generated a tsunami with runup heights reaching 6 meters, causing extensive damage along the western and northern coasts of Puerto Rico. The earthquake and tsunami caused $29 million damage, 116 people were killed and 100 were reported missing.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


November 18, 1929 Grand Banks

Tsunami travel time map for the 1929 Grand Banks Earthquake

On November 18, 1929 a magnitude 7.4 Mw earthquake occurred 250 km south of Newfoundland along the southern edge of the Grand Banks, Canada. The earthquake was felt as far away as New York and Montreal. It triggered a large submarine slump which ruptured 12 transatlantic cables in multiple places and generated a tsunami. The tsunami was recorded along the east coast of Canada and the U.S., as far south as Martinique in the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal. The tsunami caused an estimated $1 million damage and 28 deaths in Newfoundland, Canada.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)

August 27, 1883 Krakatau

Tsunami travel time map for the August 27, 1883 Krakatau eruption

The explosion of the Krakatau Volcano in Indonesia on August 27, 1883, generated a 30 meter tsunami in the Sunda Strait which killed about 36,000 people. It also caused an atmospheric pressure wave that was recorded on the tide gauges at remote locations including South Georgia Island, Panama, France, England, Alaska, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Due to the shadowing by continents and island groups, a direct tsunami could not have reached most of these locations. Atmospheric gravity waves occurred which may have excited water waves by transferring energy into the ocean. It was recorded with an amplitude of six inches at Sausalito, California.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


December 26, 2004 Sumatra, Indonesia

Tsunami travel time map for the December 26, 2004 Sumatra Earthquake

A magnitude 9.1 Mw earthquake occurred off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on December 26, 2004. It was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska, earthquake. The earthquake generated a tsunami that caused more casualties than any other in recorded history. The tsunami was recorded nearly world-wide on tide gauges in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In total, more than 227,898 people were killed or missing and 1,126,900 were displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asia and East Africa.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)

February 3, 1923 Kamchatka, Russia

Map of tsunami travel times for the February 3, 1923 earthquake off the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia

The February 3, 1923 magnitude 8.3 Mw earthquake off the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia, generated an 8-meter tsunami that caused damage in Kamchatka and in Hawaii. It was also observed in Japan and California.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


December 7, 1944 Kii Peninsula, Japan

Travel time map for the 1944 Pacific-wide tsunami caused by a magnitude 8.1 Mw earthquake that occurred off the southeast coast of Kii Peninsula, Japan

The 1944 Pacific-wide tsunami was caused by a magnitude 8.1 Mw earthquake that occurred off the southeast coast of Kii Peninsula, Japan. The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused great destruction and loss of life. About 998 people were killed, 2135 people were seriously injured, 26,135 homes were totally destroyed, 46,950 homes were partially destroyed, and 3,059 homes were washed away. The tsunami was observed on tide gauges in the Hawaiian and Aleutian Islands.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


April 1, 1946 Unimak Island, Alaska

Tsunami travel time map for the April 1, 1946 Pacific-wide tsunami caused by an earthquake south of Unimak Island, Alaska.

The April 1, 1946 Pacific-wide tsunami was caused by a magnitude 7.3 Ms earthquake that occurred south of Unimak Island, Alaska. Hawaii experienced the worst damage, with 159 deaths (96 at Hilo) and $26 million in property loss. Total property damage in Alaska was $250,000 while California experienced one death and $10,000 damage from the tsunami. These events led to the development of tsunami travel time charts for the Pacific and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Service.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


December 20, 1946 Honshu, Japan

Travel time map for the tsunami generated by an earthquake on December 20, 1946 off the south coast of Honshu, Japan

A catastrophic magnitude 8.1 Mw earthquake on December 20, 1946 on the south coast of Honshu, Japan was felt almost everywhere in the central and western parts of the country. The number of homes destroyed directly by the earthquake was 2,598; 1,443 people died. In addition, 1,451 homes were washed away by the ensuing tsunami waves. The tsunami was observed on tide gauges in California, Hawaii and Peru. (Reference #414)

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


March 4, 1952 Hokkaido, Japan

Travel time map of the tsunami generated by an earthquakeon March 4, 1952 off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan

The magnitude 8.1 Mw earthquake and tsunami on March 4, 1952 off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan, did major damage in Japan. 815 homes were completely destroyed, 1,324 were partially destroyed, 6,395 were slightly damaged, 14 were burned, 91 were washed away, 328 homes and 1,621 non-residential buildings were flooded. Many ships were destroyed, and roads and railway lines were damaged. Twenty-eight people died, 5 people were missing and 287 people were injured in Japan. The tsunami was observed on tide gauges in Hawaii, the west coast of the United States, Alaska, Peru, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


November 4, 1952 Kamchatka, Russia

Tsunami travel time map for the earthquake on November 4, 1952 off the east coast of Kamchatka

The magnitude 9.0 Mw earthquake on November 4, 1952 off the east coast of Kamchatka generated a 13-meter wave locally. The waves struck the Hawaiian Islands at 1:00 pm. Property damage from these waves in the Hawaiian Islands was estimated at $800,000 to $1,000,000; however no lives were lost. It also caused damage on the west coast of the United States and was observed on tide gauges throughout the Pacific Basin.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


March 9, 1957 Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Tsunami travel time map for the earthquake on March 9, 1957 south of the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands

The magnitude 9.1 Mw earthquake on March 9, 1957 south of the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, generated a tsunami that did severe damage on Adak Island. However, the most damage (about $5 million) was done in the Hawaiian Islands. There were two indirect fatalities, a reporter and a pilot, and injury to a photographer when their small chartered plane crashed in the ocean near Oahu.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


May 22, 1960 Southern Chile

Tsunami travel time map for the strongest earthquake instrumentally recorded, May 1960 magnitude 9.5 Mw earthquake, in southern Chile

On May 22, 1960 a Magnitude 9.5 Mw earthquake, the largest earthquake ever instrumentally recorded, occurred in southern Chile. The series of earthquakes that followed ravaged southern Chile and ruptured over a period of days a 1,000 km section of the fault. The number of fatalities associated with both the earthquake and tsunami has been estimated to be between 490 and 5,700. Reportedly there were 3,000 injured and initially there were 717 missing in Chile. The main shock generated a tsunami that was not only destructive along the coast of Chile, but also caused numerous casualties and property damage in Hawaii and Japan, and was noticeable along shorelines throughout the Pacific Ocean area.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska

Tsunami travel time map for the March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake

This magnitude 9.2 Mw earthquake and ensuing tsunami caused 125 deaths and $311 million in property loss ($84 million and 106 deaths in Alaska). It was felt over a large area of Alaska and in parts of western Yukon Territory and British Columbia, its effects were heaviest in south central Alaska. The duration of the shock was estimated at 3 minutes. Vertical displacement occurred over 525,000 sq km. About 20 landslide tsunamis were generated; the tectonic tsunami devastated many towns along the Gulf of Alaska, left serious damage in British Columbia, Hawaii, and along the west coast of the U.S. (15 killed), and was recorded on tide gages in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


May 16, 1968 Honshu, Japan

Tsunami Travel Time map for the May 16, 1968 Honshu, Japan earthquake

A magnitude 8.2 Mw earthquake on May 16, 1968 off the coast of Honshu Island caused destruction in Japan and generated a tsunami that was observed by tide gauges in Japan and throughout the Pacific Basin. As a result of the earthquake and tsunami, 52 people died and 329 people were injured; 676 homes were completely destroyed and 2,994 homes were partially destroyed; 13 homes burned down and 529 homes were flooded; 97 ships were washed away and 30 were sunk. In addition, roads, bridges and protective dikes were destroyed.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)


November 29, 1975 Hawaii

Tsunami travel time map for the November 29, 1975 Hawaii earthquake

On November 29, 1975 a magnitude 7.2 Ms earthquake on the southern coast of the Island of Hawaii generated a locally damaging submarine landslide tsunami that was recorded at tide gauge stations in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Japan, Galapagos Islands, Peru, and Chile. The tsunami caused $1.5 million damage in Hawaii, 2 deaths, and 19 injuries.

Event Details (NGDC Global Historical Tsunami Database)

One-hour Tsunami Travel Times for Simulated Seismic Zones in the Indian Ocean

1 hour Tsunami travel time map for the Indian Oceani seismic zones 1 hour Tsunami travel time map for the Makran Coast seismic zone 1 hour Tsunami travel time map for the Sumatra-Andaman coast seismic zone

These maps were generated by the Pacific Warning Center using Paul Wessel's TTT software. The first image shows one-hour travel times from simulated seismic zones off the Makran and Sumatra-Andaman coasts, Indian Ocean. A 100-kilometer distance around the seismic zones is also shown on the map as a dashed line. The other two images show zoomed in images of the two areas.


Off the coast of central Chile

Tsunami travel time map for a hypothetical earthquake off the coast of central Chile

Travel time map for a hypothetical magnitude 9.2 earthquake off the coast of central Chile at 30oS, 72oW. This scenario was used for the Pacific-wide Tsunami Drill Exercise Pacific Wave '06 that took place 16-17 May 2006.


North of the Philippines

Tsunami travel time map for a hypothetical earthquake north of the Philippines

Travel time map for a hypothetical magnitude 8.8 earthquake north of the Philippines at 20oN, 120oE. This scenario was used for the Pacific-wide Tsunami Drill Exercise Pacific Wave '06 that took place 16-17 May 2006.