Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 9, pp 1369-1384

First online:

DART® Tsunameter Retrospective and Real-Time Data: A Reflection on 10 Years of Processing in Support of Tsunami Research and Operations

  • George MungovAffiliated withNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geophysical Data CenterCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder Email author 
  • , Marie EbléAffiliated withPacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • , Richard BouchardAffiliated withNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Data Buoy Center

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In the early 1980s, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory established the fundamentals of the contemporary tsunameter network deployed throughout the world oceans. The decades of technological and scientific advancements that followed led to a robust network that now provides real-time deep-ocean tsunami observations routinely incorporated into operational procedures of tsunami warning centers around the globe. All aspects of the network, from research to operations, to data archive and dissemination, are conducted collaboratively between the National Data Buoy Center, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and the National Geophysical Data Center, with oversight by the National Weather Service. The National Data Buoy Center manages and conducts all operational network activities and distributes real-time data to the public. The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory provides the research component in support of modeling and network enhancements for improved forecasting capability. The National Geophysical Data Center is responsible for the processing, archiving, and distribution of all retrospective data and integrates DART® tsunameter data with the National Geophysical Data Center global historical tsunami database. The role each agency plays in collecting, processing, and disseminating observations of deep-ocean bottom pressure is presented along with brief descriptions of data processing procedures. Specific examples of challenges and the approaches taken to address these are discussed. National Geophysical Data Center newly developed and available tsunami event web pages are briefly described and demonstrated with processed data for both the Tohoku 11 March 2011 and the Haiti 12 January 2010 tsunami events.


Tsunami tsunami measurements bottom pressure recorder BPR deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunami DART tsunameter