Tracking tsunamis by GPS

Giovanni Occhipinti, Attila Komjathy and Philippe Lognonné
01 Jul 2008


The coupled tsunami model described earlier can also be used to compute a prediction for the tsunami-generated TEC perturbation based on the seismic displacement as an input parameter to the model. The model prediction may be used as a detection aid by indicating the location of the tsunami wave front with time. This permits us to focus our detection efforts on specific locations and times, and will allow us to discriminate signal from noise.

The model also provides information on the expected magnitude of the TEC perturbation. This provides further value in filter discrimination. Cross-correlations can be performed on nearby observations using different satellites and stations to take advantage of tsunami-related perturbations being coherent in geometry and distance from the epicenter. Once the signal is detected in data from multiple satellites and stations, we can "track" and image the tsunami during its propagation in space and time.

Giovanni Occhipinti received his Ph.D. at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) in 2006. In 2007, he joined NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, as a postdoctoral fellow to continue his work on the detection and modeling of tsunamigenic perturbations in the ionosphere

Attila Komjathy is senior staff member of the Ionospheric and Atmospheric Remote Sensing Group of Tracking Systems and Applications Section at JPL

Philippe Lognonné is the director of the Space Department of IPGP

This article originally appeared in GPS World


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