National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2006

Technology developments in real-time tsunami measuring, monitoring and forecasting

Meinig, C., S.E. Stalin, A.I. Nakamura, F. González, and H.G. Milburn

In Oceans 2005 MTS/IEEE, Washington, D.C., 19–23 September 2005 (2006)

Fast, accurate tsunami forecasts are an essential component of an effective tsunami warning system. Decision-makers at Tsunami Warning Centers must assess the hazard to coastal communities by rapidly collecting and interpreting earthquake and sea-level data. The stakes are high: A missed warning could devastate entire regions and needless evacuations are expensive, dangerous and erode confidence in the warning system. Tsunami forecasting technology under development at NOAA/PMEL is based on the well-tested approach used in many other forecast systems—i.e., the integration of real-time measurement and modeling technologies. Real-time monitoring and measurement of sea-level data in the deep ocean is presently made by a seven-station network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) systems. DART II is a new generation system that will have additional features and capabilities to aid the forecasting ability of Tsunami Warning Centers. As a result of the devastating impact of the 26 December 2004 Sumatra tsunami and the proven value of the DART array, the number of network stations will be increased to 39 by mid-2007.

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