, Volume 28, Issue 2-3, pp 435-463

Tsunami Hazard and Risk in Canada

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Abstract

Tsunamis have occurred in Canada due to earthquakes, landslides, and a large chemical explosion. The Pacific coast is at greatest risk from tsunamis because of the high incidence of earthquakes and landslides in that region. The most destructive historical tsunamis, however, have been in Atlantic Canada – one in 1917 in Halifax Harbour, which was triggered by a catastrophic explosion on a munitions ship, and another in 1929 in Newfoundland, caused by an earthquake-triggered landslide at the edge of the Grand Banks. The tsunami risk along Canada's Arctic coast and along the shores of the Great Lakes is low in comparison to that of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Public awareness of tsunami hazard and risk in Canada is low because destructive tsunamis are rare events.