Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 172, Issue 12, pp 3281–3312 | Cite as

Deep-Ocean Measurements of Tsunami Waves

  • Alexander B. RabinovichEmail author
  • Marie C. Eblé


Deep-ocean tsunami measurements play a major role in understanding the physics of tsunami wave generation and propagation, and in improving the effectiveness of tsunami warning systems. This paper provides an overview of the history of tsunami recording in the open ocean from the earliest days, approximately 50 years ago, to the present day. Modern tsunami monitoring systems such as the self-contained Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis and innovative cabled sensing networks, including, but not limited to, the Japanese bottom cable projects and the NEPTUNE-Canada geophysical bottom observatory, are highlighted. The specific peculiarities of seafloor longwave observations in the deep ocean are discussed and compared with observations recorded in coastal regions. Tsunami detection in bottom pressure observations is exemplified through analysis of distant (22,000 km from the source) records of the 2004 Sumatra tsunami in the northeastern Pacific.


Tsunami measurements bottom pressure bottom cable stations tsunameter DART stations sea level long waves tsunami spectra signal extraction longwave background noise 



We gratefully acknowledge the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and specific agency researchers H. Matsumoto and K. Kawaguchi for the information provided on Japanese cable stations. We thank Drs. Eddie Bernard (NOAA/PMEL, Seattle, WA) and Derek Goring (Mulgor Consulting, Christchurch, NZ) for their valuable comments and suggestions. We especially thank Dr. George Mungov (National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO) for his advice and assistance with DART data processing. Russian Science Foundation, Grant 14-50-00095, provided partial support for the contribution of A.B.R. This is NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory contribution number 4297.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and OceansInstitute of Ocean SciencesSidneyCanada
  2. 2.P.P. Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Pacific Marine Environmental LaboratoryNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA

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