An Overview of Tsunami Warning Systems

An Overview of Tsunami Warning Systems

  • Submitted By: Riley201
  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2008 10:47 AM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 2127
  • Page: 9
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Research Assignment

Life Saving Devices: An Overview of Tsunami Warning Systems

Tsunamis are deadly natural disasters that can cause massive amounts of destruction to property and take human lives. There are many different tsunami warning systems available. Tsunami warning centers are the communication infrastructure that connects seismic monitors to the scientists. Seismometers are devices used by geologists. They measure and record seismic waves which show the epicenter of an earthquake and possible beginning signs of a tsunami. The DART system reports sea level information measurements. This information is processed to produce a new and more refined estimate of the tsunami source. The behavioral signs of animals can also be considered a warning system. People of the world could make a phone call to warning center if their animal was showing certain signs. These systems, if used effectively, can not only save lives, but help reduce the devastation of disastrous tsunamis.

Key Words
Tsunami, Warnings, Warning Center, DART, seismometer, Animal Behavior

The word tsunami is derived from the Japanese word meaning ‘harbor wave’. “A tsunami is a series of rapidly moving, long-wavelength, long-period ocean waves generated by impulsive, large-scale disturbances of the Earth’s crust (ocean floor).” (Gopalakrishnan & Levy 2005) In the open ocean, tsunamis may have wavelengths of up to several hundred miles and travel at speeds up to 500 miles per hour, yet have wave heights of less than 3 ft, which pass unnoticed beneath a ship at sea. The period between the crests of a tsunami's waves varies from 5 minutes to about 1 hour. When tsunamis approach shallow water along a coast, they are slowed, causing their length to shorten and their height to rise. When they break, they often destroy piers, buildings, and beaches and take human life. The wave height as they crash upon a shore depends almost entirely upon the submarine topography...

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