Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

6 years after the tsunami disaster

23.12.2010
Technical setup of the early warning sysem completed

Six years after the tsunami disaster of 26/12/2004, the set-up of the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean (GITEWS) has been completed. The project ends on 31 March 2011. After that, Indonesia accepts the sole responsibility for the overall system.

"The innovative technical approach of GITEWS is based on a combination of different sensors, whose central element is a fast and precise detection and analysis of earthquakes, supported by GPS measurements," says Professor Reinhard Hüttl, Scientific Director of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. "The GFZ-developed evaluation of Seismology via the SeisComP3 system proved to be so fast and reliable that it has now been installed in over 40 countries."

A tsunami warning takes place no more than five minutes after a submarine earthquake, based on all the available information from the 300 stations that were built throughout Indonesia in the past 6 years. These include seismometers, GPS stations, tide gauges and buoy systems. Via a tsunami-simulation system, the information is converted into a situation map providing the appropriate warning levels for the affected coastline. A key outcome of GITEWS project is, however, that the buoy systems do not contribute to this process that occurs in these first few minutes. There are therefore considerations to shift the GITEWS buoys further into the open ocean and to use them to verify an ocean-wide tsunami that could threaten other countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

The Mentawai quake on 25 October this year, however, also showed the limits of any tsunami warning. The tsunami caused by the earthquake strongly affected the upstream Pagai islands in the Sunda Arc. The first waves arrived around the same time as the triggered tsunami alert, 4 minutes 46 seconds after the quake, and demanded some 500 lives. Several teams of tsunami experts from Japan, Indonesia, Germany and the USA noted in a follow-up analysis that the warning had arrived on the islands, but there had been no time to react. For the main island of Sumatra with the larger cities of Padang and Bengkulu, the time between the warning and the arrival of the first waves amounted to about 40 minutes, but in this case the Pagai Islands acted as a perfect shield against a tsunami reaching the coast of Sumatra.

The important conclusion is that even with the extremely short premonition times off Indonesia, the GITEWS system has proven to be technically and organizationally functional. Since September 2007, four tsunami events were detected and warnings were issued for each. Especially the inhabitants of the off-shore islands, however, need to receive intensified and improved training on how to act when threatened. This includes not only the correct response during a tsunami alert, but also the correct behaviour before, during and after earthquakes.

Immediately after the disaster of 26 December 2004, the Federal Government of Germany contracted the Helmholtz Association, represented by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, to develop and implement an early warning system for tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. The funds to the amount of 45 million euros are a contribution of the Federal Government from the aid-for-flood-victims pool.

A natural phenomenon like the tsunami of 2004 cannot be prevented, and such disasters will continue to claim victims, even with a perfectly working alarm system. But the repercussions of such a natural disaster can be minimized with an early warning system. This is the aim of GITEWS.

see also:

http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/portal/gfz/Public+Relations/Pressemitteilungen/aktuell/101028_TsunamiOkt2010

F. Ossing | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gfz-potsdam.de

Further reports about: GFZ GITEWS GPS data Geosciences Helmholtz Indian Ocean Pacific Ocean early warning system

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht How is climate change affecting fauna in the Arctic?
22.05.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Sea level as a metronome of Earth's history
19.05.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>