J2.4 Facilitating the Exchange of Open Ocean Tsunameter Measurements across the Pacific Ocean Basin

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 4:15 PM
Room 244 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Richard H. Bouchard, NOAA/NDBC, Stennis Space Center, MS; and J. Wasserman, K. Kern, K. Grissom, J. Zhou, S. A. Weinstein, D. Wang, and C. Popham

By 2008, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had deployed32 tsunameters in the Pacific Ocean that can detect the presence of tsunamis in the open ocean. The tsunameters provide valuable information to assist the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) Honolulu, HI, USA, and the National Tsunami Warning Center, Palmer, Alaska, USA in their assessment of the destructive potential of tsunamis. Data management of the NOAA tsunameter measurements is provided by NOAA's National Data Buoy Center (NDBC). These 32 stations span the Pacific Ocean, which makes up about 28% of the world's surface and is bordered by more than 135, 000 km of coastline The Pacific Ocean is ringed by subduction zones where earthquakes have generated more than 100 tsunamis from 2003 through 2014.

Since that time, other Pacific Rim nations have taken the initiative to establish networks of open ocean tsunameters to support their own tsunami warning capabilities. The NDBC has been serving as an ad hoc facilitator for the exchange of measurements by leveraging its Information Technology infrastructure that presently supports the NOAA tsunameter array. This informal partnership benefits the providing country with data management services to disseminate the measurements in real-time on the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Global Telecommunication System (GTS). The GTS links the world's tsunami warning services. NOAA's tsunami warning program benefits by having access to these non-US tsunameters, as evidenced by several recent tsunami events in the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island region. These tsunameters increase the tsunameter network density, areal coverage, and add a measure of redundancy to the tsunameter network.

This paper will review the growth of this partnership, the availability of the measurements, and the challenges in providing real-time measurements from a variety of instrumentation.

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