Tuesday, February 13, 2018
6 p.m.

Construction and Engineering Hall, The LaSells Stewart Center, Corvallis

Presentation with Dan Cox, Haizhong Wang, and Lori Cramer

In Oregon, a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami from the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) represents one of the most pressing natural coastal hazards. Since the mid-1980’s scientific evidence has underscored the possibility of such an extreme event, and it has taken at least another decade or more before public attitudes and policy have begun to adapt to this new hazard. Life safety is a pressing issue for the near-field CSZ tsunami hazard for several reasons. First, there is limited time from the start of the earthquake to when the tsunami arrives to the shore–20 to 30 minutes depending on location–compared to several hours for the case of a distant tsunami across the Pacific Ocean. Second, evacuations will be self-initiated, relying on an individual’s perception of risk and knowledge of correct course of action. And third, unlike other natural disasters such as river floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes which are more easily imagined, the rarity of tsunami events in the U.S. make the tsunami scenario difficult to visualize. The talk presents the results of an agent-based tsunami evacuation model to explore how decisions on when to leave, route choice, mode (on foot or by car) and unplanned disruptions affect life safety. Our work is applied to case studies:  one in Seaside Oregon and a second at South Beach State Park in Oregon. The talk also discusses evacuation drills with role playing and a pilot exhibit at the HSMC designed to understand how people perceive tsunami risks in Oregon.

For event questions or accommodation requests, please contact Shelly Signs, (541) 737-0724 or shelly.signs@oregonstate.edu



Dr. Dan Cox is a professor of coastal and ocean engineering at OSU, where he studies the impact of tsunamis and ocean waves on coastal structures. His research focuses on community resilience to coastal hazards, including tsunami and hurricane surge and waves inundation in the built and natural environments. He conducts research on tsunami and wave impacts on near-coast structures, tsunami evacuation and life safety, sediment transport and erosion, and nature-based solutions for coastal hazards mitigation.


Dr. Haizhong Wang teaches classes in Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. He conducts research in the areas of traffic flow modeling and simulation, transportation system planning and travel behavior analysis, traffic system control and optimization, and intelligent transportation systems. He is interested in emergency evacuation and disaster response, in particular the evacuee decision-making behavior under emergent scenarios, and post-disaster transportation network resiliency and recovery problems.

Dr. Lori Cramer

 is a sociologist who studies natural resource-dependent communities and how they are affected by social problems, environmental risks and other issues. She has looked at the impacts of nuclear waste and hazardous waste facilities on rural communities, and is studying the effects of recent tsunami warnings on vulnerable populations at the Oregon coast.