NURP banner graphic
Home About Research Technology Centers News Funding Library
Hot Topics

NURP develops a storm/tsunami wave and earthquake monitoring system
This story entered on 21st Aug, 2006 10:12:23 AM PST

NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP) National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), Seabed Technology Research Center has initiated the development of a Storm/Tsunami Wave and Earthquake Monitoring system (SWEM) with the design, assembly and deployment of a prototype unit in the vicinity of the Gas Hydrate Research Consortium’s, Seafloor Observatory site in the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Canyon Block 118.

The prototype SWEM was deployed in June and will remain operational throughout the 2006 hurricane season, to be recovered in November. The system basically consists of a hydrophone, data-logger and power supply, moored to the seafloor via disposable anchor and fitted with a recovery float package activated by an acoustic release. While the single SWEM prototype is fitted only with a hydrophone limited to monitoring/measuring pressure waves from surface noise (storm waves) and pressure change between wave troughs and crests versus time (period), it should serve as a proof of concept. If successful the prototype design will be expanded both as to sensors and support components for data transmission, etc.

Sensors would be expanded to include a specially designed low frequency, three- component accelerometer which will add the capability of monitoring/measuring seismic shear waves generated by earthquakes and slumps. Data handling would utilize a modem in addition to the data-logger to transmit indications of significant seismic/tsunami events to a retrofit buoy-mounted, satellite transceiver for early warning purposes. The data-logger would record and transmit routine data streams at times of convenience.

Additional units would be constructed and deployed (initially five in total) at sites optimally positioned-- for coverage purposes, throughout the Gulf to the extent that buoys of opportunity can be accessed and utilized. Once installed, trianglization via multiple sites can then provide tracking of major storms and the monitoring of intensity levels. The recognition of tsunami and rogue waves through pressure/periodicity measurements and tracking may also be possible, as well as, epicenter location of earthquake events and the recording of intensity data via shear wave sensing.

More information:

Contact information
Name: Robert Woolsey


NURP logo Home   About   Research   Technology   Centers   News   Funding   Library
NOAA's Undersea Research Program
1315 East-West Highway, R/NURP - Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 734-1000  Fax: (301) 713-1967  
bullet  Contact Info bullet  Privacy Policy bullet  Disclaimer bullet Site Index
NOAA logo
Updated: March 1, 2007