Evidence of an unprecedented tsunami found inside a sinkhole on Kaua’i had previously been documented in 2001. So researchers in Hawaii set out to recreate in models an event that could have led to the flooding of that particular sinkhole on Hawaii.
An image of the results from one of the study’s model simulations. Maximum tsunami amplitude in meters for an earthquake originating in the East Aleutian islands with a magnitude of 9.25. The resulting tsunami is pointed directly at the island of Kaua’i. Hawaii is circled. Warmer colors (yellow, orange, red) represent a larger tsunami. (AGU)
What they found was that the geometry of the eastern Aleutian islands in Alaska is particularly arranged to produce a monster tsunami pointed directly at the island of Kaua’i. In the tsunami models, water levels on shore reached 26 to 30 feet — more than enough water to top the sinkhole.