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It's possible that another large Alaskan earthquake could trigger a comparable tsunami on Hawaii's shores in the future, experts said.
The tsunami was at least three times the size of the damaging 1946 tsunami, which was driven by an 8.6-magnitude earthquake off the Aleutian Islands.
A powerful earthquake in Alaska sent towering waves up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall crashing down on Hawaii about 500 years ago, leaving behind fragments of coral, mollusk shells and coarse beach sand in a sinkhole located on the island of Kauai, new research finds.
The quake, likely a magnitude 9.0, sent the mighty waves toward Hawaii sometime between 14, the study found.
As a senior writer for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment and amazing animals.
She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research.
Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St.
Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU.
"[The researchers] stitched together geological evidence, anthropological information as well as geophysical modeling to put together this story that is tantalizing for a geologist, but it's frightening for people in Hawaii," Robert Witter, a geologist at the U. Geological Survey in Anchorage, Alaska, who was not involved in the study, said in the statement.
When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee.
A Christian archaeologist’s discovery of ancient bones in a cave in Samaria unravelled a 2,000-year-old murder mystery, and led to the local Jews performing a rare and powerful Torah commandment they believe will help bring the Third Temple.
Soon after, researchers revisited Hawaii's tsunami evacuation maps.
The maps are largely based on the 1946 tsunami, which caused water to rise 8 feet (2.5 m) up the side of the Makauwahi sinkhole.
In fact, a magnitude- 9.0 earthquake in just the right spot could easily direct water levels of 26 to 30 feet (8 to 9 m) high toward Kauai, carrying debris into the Makauwahi sinkhole, they found.