National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2016

Deep-ocean measurements of tsunami waves

Rabinovich, A., and M. Eblé

Pure Appl. Geophys., 172(12), 3281–3312, doi: 10.1007/s00024-015-1058-1 (2015)

Deep-ocean tsunami measurements play a major role in understanding the physics of tsunami wave generation and propagation, and in improving the effectiveness of tsunami warning systems. This paper provides an overview of the history of tsunami recording in the open ocean from the earliest days, approximately 50 years ago, to the present day. Modern tsunami monitoring systems such as the self-contained Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis and innovative cabled sensing networks, including, but not limited to, the Japanese bottom cable projects and the NEPTUNE-Canada geophysical bottom observatory, are highlighted. The specific peculiarities of seafloor longwave observations in the deep ocean are discussed and compared with observations recorded in coastal regions. Tsunami detection in bottom pressure observations is exemplified through analysis of distant (22,000 km from the source) records of the 2004 Sumatra tsunami in the northeastern Pacific.

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