National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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FY 1999

Tsunami prediction in U.S. coastal regions

Mofjeld, H.O., F.I. González, and J.C. Newman

Chapter 14 in Coastal Ocean Prediction, C. Mooers (ed.), Coastal and Estuarine Studies 56, American Geophysical Union, 353–375 (1999)

Tsunami prediction in the coastal region consists of long-term prediction for mitigation and short-term prediction during tsunami emergencies. Tsunami research uses models, tsunami observations and geophysical data to better understand the dynamics of tsunami generation, propagation and inundation. The observations include the numerous tsunamis that have occurred recently in the Pacific Ocean and adjacent seas, as well as major historical and scenario tsunamis generated in major subduction zones. Of particular importance is understanding how source distributions, small-scale topography, friction and non-linear processes affect the spatial and temporal patterns of tsunami wave heights, currents and sediment deposits in the impact regions. Goals for improving tsunami prediction include a better understanding of tsunami dynamics, more extensive real-time observing systems deployed in the open ocean and coastal waters, more extensive and accurate inundation maps, and more rapid and accurate predictions of maximum tsunami wave heights during tsunami emergencies.

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