Tsunami Inundation Mapping

Tsunami Inundation Mapping for Western Sumatra – GIS Data and Mapping Support


The University of Southern California Tsunami Research Group conducts ongoing research into tsunami modeling and risk assessment for coastal areas around the globe. Severely impacted by the December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and resulting tsunami, cure areas along the western coast of Sumatra remain under high risk for damage from future events centered within the nearby fault systems. The USC Tsunami Research Group uses advanced numerical models, calibrated by knowledge of past events, to estimate impacted areas under potential future fault activity. The results of their research aid local education, warning system development strategies, and planning around emergency response mechanisms.


Provided GIS data and mapping support to the Research Group, including acquisition and processing of pre- and post-event satellite imagery. Significant work in the creation of a series of bathymetric models derived from nautical charts and regional elevation/bathymetry data sources, used by Research Group scientists to conduct numeric modeling and estimate local inundation scenarios.


Sample nautical chart which, after digitizing and interpolation, yields bathymetry grid.

Satellite imagery as used to assess the December 2004 tsunami impacts on Banda Aceh, as well as journal articles published by the Tsunami Research Group in Science (June 2005) and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (November 2006).