Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tsunami observed by radar, may lead to better early warning systems

Date:
August 16, 2011
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
The tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11 was picked up by high-frequency radar in California and Japan as it swept toward their coasts, according to US and Japanese scientists. This is the first time that a tsunami has been observed by radar, raising the possibility of new early warning systems.

The tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11 was picked up by high-frequency radar in California and Japan as it swept toward their coasts, according to U.S. and Japanese scientists. This is the first time that a tsunami has been observed by radar, raising the possibility of new early warning systems.

Related Articles


"It could be really useful in areas such as south-east Asia where there are huge areas of shallow continental shelf," said Professor John Largier, an oceanographer at the University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, and an author of a new paper describing the work.

The paper appears this month in the journal Remote Sensing.

Largier and his colleagues have been using a high-frequency radar array at the Bodega Marine Lab to study ocean currents for the last 10 years. The Bodega lab is part of a network of coastal radar sites funded by the State of California for oceanographic research.

Largier, together with collaborators from Hokkaido and Kyoto universities in Japan and San Francisco State University, used data from radar sites at Bodega Bay, Trinidad, Calif., and two sites in Hokkaido, Japan, to look for the tsunami offshore.

The scientists found that the radar picks up not the actual tsunami wave -- which is small in height while out at sea -- but changes in currents as the wave passes.

The researchers found they could see the tsunami once it entered shallower coastal waters over the continental shelf. As the waves enter shallower water, they slow down, increase in height and decrease in wavelength until finally hitting the coast.

The continental shelf off the California coast is quite narrow, and approaches to the coast are already well-monitored by pressure gauges, Largier noted. But he said radar detection could be useful, for example, on the East Coast or in Southeast Asia, where there are wide expanses of shallow seas.

Co-authors of the paper with Largier were: Belinda Lipa and Donald Barrick, Codar Marine Sensors, Mountain View, Calif.; Sei-Ichi Saitoh, Hokkaido University; Yoichi Ishikawa and Toshiyuki Awaji, Kyoto University; and Newell Garfield, San Francisco State.

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the California Coastal Conservancy, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Belinda Lipa, Donald Barrick, Sei-Ichi Saitoh, Yoichi Ishikawa, Toshiyuki Awaji, John Largier, Newell Garfield. Japan Tsunami Current Flows Observed by HF Radars on Two Continents. Remote Sensing, 2011; 3 (8): 1663 DOI: 10.3390/rs3081663

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Tsunami observed by radar, may lead to better early warning systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816144038.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2011, August 16). Tsunami observed by radar, may lead to better early warning systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816144038.htm
University of California - Davis. "Tsunami observed by radar, may lead to better early warning systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816144038.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins