National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

Impact of near-field, deep-ocean tsunami observations on forecasting the 7 December 2012 Japanese tsunami

Bernard, E., L. Tang, Y. Wei, and V. Titov

Pure Appl. Geophys., 171(12), 3483–3491, doi: 10.1007/s00024-013-0720-8 (2014)

Following the devastating 11 March 2011 tsunami, two deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunamis (DART®)(DART® and the DART® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission) stations were deployed in Japanese waters by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Two weeks after deployment, on 7 December 2012, a M w 7.3 earthquake off Japan’s Pacific coastline generated a tsunami. The tsunami was recorded at the two Japanese DARTs as early as 11 min after the earthquake origin time, which set a record as the fastest tsunami detecting time at a DART station. These data, along with those recorded at other DARTs, were used to derive a tsunami source using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tsunami forecast system. The results of our analysis show that data provided by the two near-field Japanese DARTs can not only improve the forecast speed but also the forecast accuracy at the Japanese tide gauge stations. This study provides important guidelines for early detection and forecasting of local tsunamis.

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