Robert Q. Palmer, Gerald T. Funasaki


The city and harbor of Hilo, located on the northeast coast of the island of Hawaii, have been severely damaged by numerous tsunamis. It was decided that the best approach to arriving at a feasible solution to the problem would be by conducting hydraulic model studies. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problems which were encountered prior to and during the model testing. Discussions will include such factors as the selection of the distorted model scale, the type of wave generator used in reproducing the tsunami bore, the test conditions employed during model operation, and the requirements in tsunami behavior which had to be met before the verification of the model was deemed acceptable. This paper will also cover results of the study regarding the causes of tsunami bore formation in Hilo and the various possible schemes of protection. The tests described and the resultant information presented herein, unless otherwise noted, were obtained from research conducted under the Hilo Harbor Model Study of the United States Army Corps of Engineers by the Honolulu Engineer District. The permission granted by the Chief of Engineers to publish this information is appreciated.


Hilo Harbor; tsunami model; tsunami

Full Text: