National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1980

A small, self-contained water level recorder for tsunami

Curtis, G.D., and H.G. Loomis

In Proc. of the IUGG Tsunami Symposium, July 1980 (1980)

A relatively inexpensive device which will record the water level time history in a coastal location during a tsunami event is under development. The device is contained in a tube approximately 2 cm by 20 cm and is secured at a pre-selected site in shallow water when a tsunami is enroute. The recording system includes a semi conductor pressure sensor, analog-to-digital conversion, a clock, a semi conductor memory for data storage, and batteries. There are no moving parts. Tentative specifications are: 1 and 10 meter ranges; 0.5% (of full range) resolution; 30 second sampling rate, and storage for 10 hours of data. Upon retrieval after the event, the unit is opened in the lab and the stored data read out onto a chart recorder to produce a conventional-appearing tide gauge record, or used directly for computer analyses. Trade-offs in design parameters, cost, electronic and physical characteristics, and deployment factors are discussed.

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