Following the Sumatra Tsunami in 2004, NOAA stepped up its efforts to detect and report tsunamis by:
Developing tsunami models for at-risk communities
Staffing NOAA warning centers around the clock
Expanding the warning coverage area
Deploying Deep-ocean Assessment and Report of Tsunamis (DART) buoy stations
Installing sea-level gauges
Offering expanded community education through the Tsunami, and ready program.
How can scientists detect tsunamis?
When Earth moves water. Traditionally, scientists have looked at the earthquake itself – using location, magnitude, and depth – to estimate the size and direction of the tsunami. Some more things to examine: references, looking back to look ahead, for more information, and a new wave of data.
Some sources claimed tsunamis are detected and measured by coastal tide gages and by tsunami buoys in the deep ocean. The tide gages measure the tsunami wave directly. In the deep ocean, sensors on the ocean floor detect the pressure signature of tsunami waves as they pass by.
Since tsunami waves cannot be seen in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued. Port facilities may become damaged and hazardous with debris. Boats are safer from tsunami damage while in the deep ocean (> 100 m) rather than moored in a harbor.
In the open ocean, it is very difficult to detect a tsunami from aboard a ship because the water level will rise only slightly over a period of 10 min to hours. Since the rate at which a wave loses its energy is inversely proportional to its wavelength, a tsunami will lose little energy as it propagates.
A question we ran across in our research was “What happens when onboard software detects passage of a tsunami?”.
When onboard software detects passage of a tsunami wave, the system switches from standard to event mode reporting.
How can you predict tsunamis?
Historical records show where earthquakes frequently occur . Plate tectonic theory also predicts where earthquakes will occur . Neither historical records nor current scientific theory can accurately tell us when earthquakes will occur. Therefore, tsunami prediction can only be done after an earthquake has occurred.
Tsunamis and the Open Ocean. As with any earthquake around a coastal region or on the ocean floor, there is great concern about the formation of a tsunami. A Tsunami is series of waves with a very large wavelength. Think of a series of waves hitting a beach. The distance between each wave hitting the shore is the wavelength.
What is the greatest concern about the formation of a tsunami?
As with any earthquake around a coastal region or on the ocean floor, there is great concern about the formation of a tsunami. A Tsunami is series of waves with a very large wavelength.
Is it possible to cross the Pacific Ocean in a tsunami?
At that pace they can cross the entire expanse of the Pacific Ocean in less than a day. In the open ocean, the wave length of a tsunami is hundreds of miles long and only a few feet high.