Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 9–10, pp 1369–1384 | Cite as

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

  • George MungovEmail author
  • Marie Eblé
  • Richard Bouchard


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 



The authors wish to acknowledge the partner agencies whose continued collaboration ensures the success of the United States' efforts to provide real-time tsunami warning to coastal communities during a tsunami event. NOAA’s two Tsunami Warning Centers, the National Ocean Service, the National Data Buoy Center, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and the National Geophysical Data Center each provide critical expertise. We also thank Paul Whitmore with NOAA WC/ATWC and all anonymous reviewers for their thorough evaluation and constructive recommendations, all of which served to improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Geophysical Data CenterBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Pacific Marine Environmental LaboratoryNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA
  4. 4.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Data Buoy CenterStennis Space CenterUSA

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