Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Changing impacts of Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone tsunamis in California under future sea-level rise

Dura, T; Garner, AJ; Weiss, R; Kopp, RE; Engelhart, SE; Witter, RC; Briggs, RW; Mueller, CS; Nelson, AR; Horton, BP

Changing impacts of Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone tsunamis in California under future sea-level rise Thumbnail


T Dura

AJ Garner

R Weiss

RE Kopp

RC Witter

RW Briggs

CS Mueller

AR Nelson

BP Horton


The amplification of coastal hazards such as distant-source tsunamis under future relative sea-level rise (RSLR) is poorly constrained. In southern California, the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone has been identified as an earthquake source region of particular concern for a worst-case scenario distant-source tsunami. Here, we explore how RSLR over the next century will influence future maximum nearshore tsunami heights (MNTH) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Earthquake and tsunami modeling combined with local probabilistic RSLR projections show the increased potential for more frequent, relatively low magnitude earthquakes to produce distant-source tsunamis that exceed historically observed MNTH. By 2100, under RSLR projections for a high-emissions representative concentration pathway (RCP8.5), the earthquake magnitude required to produce >1 m MNTH falls from ~Mw9.1 (required today) to Mw8.0, a magnitude that is ~6.7 times more frequent along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 22, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 8, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Oct 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2021
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Article Number 7119
Public URL


Published Journal Article (4 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

You might also like

Downloadable Citations