Ocean-bottom pressure sensors, able to measure tsunamis in the open ocean, are providing important data on tsunami propagation in deep water, and satellite communications have enabled the data to be used in real time to detect and measure tsunami waves in the deep ocean. NOAA has pioneered the development and operation of these tsunami detection buoys (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART®)) over the last 20 years. Measurements from these buoys are now helping warning centres to issue or cancel warnings and other alerts with more precision.
Originally developed as part of the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), the NOAA DART® Project was an effort to maintain and improve the capability for the early detection and real-time reporting of tsunamis in the open ocean. To ensure early detection of tsunamis and to acquire data critical to real-time forecasts, NOAA has placed DART® stations at sites in regions with a history of generating destructive tsunamis. NOAA completed the original 6-buoy operational array in 2001 and expanded to a full network of 39 stations in March, 2008.
For more information, visit http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart/dart.shtml