National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2005

The NTHMP tsunameter network

González, F.I., E.N. Bernard, C. Meinig, M. Eble, H.O. Mofjeld, and S. Stalin

Nat. Hazards, 35(1), Special Issue, U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, 25–39, doi: 10.1007/s11069-004-2402-4 (2005)

A tsunameter (soo-NAHM-etter) network has been established in the Pacific by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Named by analogy with seismometers, the NOAA tsunameters provide early detection and real-time measurements of deep-ocean tsunamis as they propagate toward coastal communities, enabling the rapid assessment of their destructive potential. Development and maintenance of this network supports a State-driven, high-priority goal of the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program to improve the speed and reliability of tsunami warnings. The network is now operational, with excellent reliability and data quality, and has proven its worth to warning center decision-makers during potentially tsunamigenic earthquake events; the data have helped avoid issuance of a tsunami warning or have led to cancellation of a tsunami warning, thus averting potentially costly and hazardous evacuations. Optimizing the operational value of the network requires implementation of real-time tsunami forecasting capabilities that integrate tsunameter data with numerical modeling technology. Expansion to a global tsunameter network is needed to accelerate advances in tsunami research and hazard mitigation, and will require a cooperative and coordinated international effort.

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