Early detection of near-field tsunamis using underwater sensor networks

L. K. Comfort, T. Znati, M. Voortman, X. Xerandy, L. E. Freitag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a novel approach for near-field tsunami detection, specifically for the area near the city of Padang, Indonesia. Padang is located on the western shore of Sumatra, directly across from the Mentawai segment of the Sunda Trench, where accumulated strain has not been released since the great earthquake of 1797. Consequently, the risk of a major tsunamigenic earthquake on this segment is high. Currently, no ocean-bottom pressure sensors are deployed in the Mentawai basin to provide a definitive tsunami warning for Padang. Timely warnings are essential to initiate evacuation procedures and minimize loss of human life. Our approach augments existing technology with a network of underwater sensors to detect tsunamis generated by an earthquake or landslide fast enough to provide at least 15 minutes of warning. Data from the underwater sensor network would feed into existing decision support systems that accept input from land and sea-based sensors and provide warning information to city and regional authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
Number of pages13
JournalScience of Tsunami Hazards
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geology


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