The 1927 Lompoc Earthquake: A Small Tsunami
The coast at the western end of Santa Barbara County was nearly uninhabited at the time of the 1927 earthquake; however, the Southern Pacific Railroad did have tracks near the coast. Several agents of the railroad reported seeing a small tsunami, estimated at six feet near Pismo and five feet at Port San Luis, break along the beach shortly after the earthquake. A lightkeeper near Port San Luis also reported seeing a four-foot wave. In at least one location, the tsunami was reported to have washed the beach clean of seaweed, driftwood, and other debris, and to have left a stretch of fine, smooth white sand.
The tsunami was recorded on tide gauge records at San Francisco, La Jolla, Honolulu, and Hilo, Hawaii. The height of the tsunami at these locations was barely measureable, though, ranging from 1 to 4 inches.