Breanyn MacInnes (Geological Sciences)
Nu’u, Hawaii is a wildlife refuge located on the island of Maui, where multiple coral boulders deposited in the area are interpreted by the refuge scientists as having deposited in a high energy event, likely a tsunami, due to their size and depositional pattern. There is also a deposit of marine sediments deposited in the Nu’u wetlands that are located about 300 feet inland from the shoreline, similarly, interpreted as from the same tsunamis. Over the last few hundred years, Hawaii could have been suspectable to multiple tsunamis from both Cascadia and Aleutians earthquake sources.
Through modeling I am able to distinguish differences in the effects of these tsunami on Nu’u and the regional area to compare to the geologic data. In my project I use the GeoClaw tsunami modeling program to simulate the tsunamis using data from past earthquakes from the Aleutians and Cascadia. The Aleutians are thought to have occurred anywhere between 1425-1665 while Cascadia happened during 1700. By modeling the paths of these tsunamis, using simulated tide gauges to record tsunami wave heights around Maui, and calculating the inundation in Nu’u, I have analyzed differences in the effects of Cascadia and the Aleutians, in some of my preliminary results the Aleutians tsunamis seemed to have higher wave heights near Nu’u in comparison to Cascadia.
Keywords: Tsunami, Cascadia, Aleutians