NURP develops a storm/tsunami wave and earthquake
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 Consortiums, 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: www.usm.edu/niust/strchome.htm
Name: Robert Woolsey