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Tsunami Warning System

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Instrumentation in Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1283.1 - 14.1283.7



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Paper Authors

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Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic U.S. Department of Defense

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Jeremy Joseph United States Naval Academy

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Tsunami Warning System


Tsunamis occur rarely on Earth but their impact is devastating. If successful, the project objectives provide a substantial first step to minimizing the material destruction and mortality caused by this immense force of nature. The goal of this project is to develop a system that can detect an incoming tsunami. The project will also explore possibilities to dampen the impact of the tsunami wave.

I. Tsunami Background

A. Creation

Tsunamis can be caused by meteors, underwater volcanoes, underwater landslides, and underwater earthquakes [1]. Underwater earthquakes are the most frequent cause of tsunamis. During an underwater earthquake, a large amount of water is displaced and an enormous amount of energy is added by the motion of the tectonic plates. The energy must dissipate, so it travels away from the epicenter in all directions. In the deep ocean, the presence of a tsunami is not apparent. The sea level rises on the order of inches. As the tsunami approaches land, the depth of water decreases. This fact causes the massive amount of energy to push the water upward into an enormous wall of water [1]. The speed of the tsunami decreases as it approaches land because some of the kinetic energy is transferred into potential energy. The speed of the tsunami is a function of gravity and the depth of the ocean: S=g/(2*pi*f) [1].

B. Comparison with Wind-Generated Waves

Tsunamis are orders of magnitude greater than wind-generated waves in terms of the lateral speed, the wave period and the size of the wave. Wind-generated waves are the transfer of energy across the ocean. The energy is usually provided by the wind. The water particles themselves are not making any voyage across ocean. Instead, the particles are traveling in small circles as the wave passes. This can be seen in the following diagram [4] :

Figure 1 Shows the differences between the landfall of tsunami and wind waves

Avramov-Zamurovic, S., & Joseph, J. (2009, June), Tsunami Warning System Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4856

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