32nd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology/31st Conference on Radar Meteorology/Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes

Thursday, 7 August 2003: 1:30 PM
Progress on Improved Operational Forecasting and Inundation Mapping of Pacific Tsunamis for Coastal Communities
Frank I. González, NOAA/PMEL/TIME, Seattle, WA; and V. V. Titov, H. O. Mofjeld, E. N. Bernard, M. C. Eble, A. J. Venturato, and J. C. Newman
Poster PDF (74.4 kB)
The NOAA Center for Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts (TIME) at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory is working with NOAA/NWS Tsunami Warning Centers and state agencies in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii to develop improved Short-term Inundation Forecasting for Tsunamis (SIFT) capabilities for use by the Warning Centers. The methodology is based on a pre-computed database of unit-source tsunamis that are first automatically scaled and combined using earthquake information and then refined via assimilation of tsunami observations from real-time data provided by the DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) network. Progress is being made to extend predictions of offshore wave heights to the coast. The forecasting system will include an easy-to-interpret user interface for use at the Warning Centers. Real-time estimates of tides and meteorologically induced water level variations are essential to accurate forecasts. A major goal of the SIFT work is to reduce the number of false alarms. The TIME Center is also working with the states to generate tsunami inundation maps for use in emergency management planning, hazard mitigation, and evacuation. Comparisons with recent, historical, and paleo-tsunami data are used to certify the accuracy of the numerical tsunami models. The modeling and mapping work also requires the creation of very high-resolution digital elevation models of merged topography and bathymetry that should be useful in a wide variety of oceanographic and coastal studies.

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