August 6, 2002
Interview with Mrs. Catherine Barsinas,
64, a witness of the damage wrought on the Island
of Hiva Oa by the large 1946 Aleutian tsunami. The
witness has led the researchers along a road up a
valley to the exact limit of inundation by the wave.
The distance to the shore (328 m) and altitude (6.7
m) of this location were measured using surveying
methods and entered into the database which will allow
researchers to model the generation and propagation
of the tsunami across the Pacific Ocean.
From left to right: Daniel Rousseau (Summer Intern,
University of Southern California) recording the interview
on video tape; Mrs. Barsinas; Professor Costas Synolakis
(University of Southern California) taking GPS measurements;
Professor Emile Okal (Northwestern University) leading
the interview; Mr. Barsinas; Dr. Gérard Guille (Commissariat
à l'Energie Atomique, France).
Photo credit: G. Fryer
Interview with Ronald Wilson, 65,
an eyewitness of the 1946 tsunami. On the picture,
Mr. Wilson (left) points to a topo map of the Island
of Sanak, and describes to Professor Emile Okal of
Northwestern University (right) locations where the
tsunami deposited driftwood on this otherwise treeless
island. The field location is shown by the symbol
on the map of Alaska in the background.
Photo credit: Costas Synolakis, University of
Southern California, Los Angeles
Driftwood identified as watermark
from inundation by 1946 tsunami on Unimak Island.
On this treeless island, this stump was deposited
at an altitude of 40 m, and a distance of 412 m from
the shore (visible at far right). Left to right: Dr.
George Plafker (US Geological Survey, retired; Prof.
Emile Okal, Northwestern University; Professor Costas
Synolakis, University of Southern California). In
the distance, partly shrouded in clouds, Shishaldin
Photo credit: S. Egli
Return to News Tip August 6,