GPS Data Improve Tsunami Warning System
After investigating the Fukushima earthquake from 11 March 2011, Helmholtz scientists from the GFZ now have shown that the inclusion of GPS data could contribute to the significant improvement of tsunami warning systems.
"On occasion of the Fukushima earthquake, we evaluated the data from more than 500 GPS stations and revealed that a correct estimate of the magnitude of M=9.0 and of the tsunami would have been possible as early as three to four minutes after the onset of the earthquake", said GFZ scientist Dr Andrey Babeyko. The GPS raw data and satellite orbit data can be used to compute a spatial earthquake model and the deformation of the seabed and thereby also of the tsunami wave expansion. Initially, this GPS protective shield was developed for the tsunami early warning system GITEWS, that was created for Indonesia by the Helmholtz Association headed by the GFZ upon commission from the German Federal Government.