Can We Predict When a Tsunami will Happen or forecast it's Warning?
We are unable to stop a tsunami once it has happen, but on the other hand, there are ways to avoid getting killed by one.
Scientists are frequently trying to find out the new ways by which they can predict the behavior of tsunamis. Most of the tsunami data come to us later than the damage by the tsunami has already occurred.
There is a tsunami warning system (TWS) by which the geologists detect tsunamis in advance and issue warnings to prevent the loss of life and damage of individuals. It is made up of 2 key components, one is network of sensors which detect tsunamis and the other one is communications infrastructure to issue timely alarms to permit evacuation for all coastal communities.
In a post-tsunami survey, geologists calculate a number of factors, while scientists are particularly concerned in the inundation and run-up features after the waves strike land. The term “Inundation” means the maximum horizontal distance penetrated inland, while the term “Run-up” refers to the maximum vertical distance above sea level. Inundation and run-up are determined on the basis of the distance of killed vegetation, scattered debris lines along the land and eyewitness accounts of the unpleasant incident.
Scientists have made great strides in monitoring and predicting the unending danger of tsunamis. Its examples are Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) which continuously monitors seismic events, and The West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (ATWC) which studies on earthquakes in this region, which have created waves that moved throughout the Pacific Ocean before striking elsewhere. The (PTWC) center is located in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and services the Hawaiian Islands and U.S. territories, and the (ATWC) is in Palmer, Alaska Islands, British Columbia, Washington State, California and Oregon.
Tsunamis are identified by open-ocean buoys and coastal tide gauges (measure the height of sea-surface), which report information to the region’s stations. The purpose of Tide stations is to measure generated changes in sea level. The seismograph stations record the activity of earthquake. If a tsunami passes through and sets off the gauge stations, a tsunami warning issues by the Civil defense agencies and then evacuation procedures are implemented in all potentially affected areas.
The organization named, Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART), uses unique pressure recorders that sit on the ocean bottom, are used to detect slight changes in the overlying water pressure. This system is capable to sense a tsunami as small as a cm high above the sea level.
NASA as well heavily involved predicting deadly tsunamis earlier than it occurs. In 21st of July 2010, the researchers of NASA at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) successfully demonstrated elements of a prototype tsunami prediction system. Using real-time data from the agency of Global Differential GPS (GDGPS) network, the system successfully predicted the size of the tsunami following the 27th of February 2010, Chilean earthquake. Hopefully such a system may facilitate more effective advance warning of incoming waves in the future.
It is true that tsunamis are a biggest challenge for geologists. Once it become in motion, they cannot be stopped it. Scientists can only predict tsunamis and create effective plans for protecting coastal areas from their negative effects. Civil agencies can only devote resources for the accomplishment of above goals.