Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 1839-1850, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
06 Sep 2010

Tsunami early warning and decision support
T. Steinmetz, U. Raape, S. Teßmann, C. Strobl, M. Friedemann, T. Kukofka, T. Riedlinger, E. Mikusch, and S. Dech German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Abstract. An innovative newly developed modular and standards based Decision Support System (DSS) is presented which forms part of the German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS). The GITEWS project stems from the effort to implement an effective and efficient Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System for the coast of Indonesia facing the Sunda Arc along the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. The geological setting along an active continental margin which is very close to densely populated areas is a particularly difficult one to cope with, because potential tsunamis' travel times are thus inherently short. National policies require an initial warning to be issued within the first five minutes after an earthquake has occurred. There is an urgent requirement for an end-to-end solution where the decision support takes the entire warning chain into account. The system of choice is based on pre-computed scenario simulations and rule-based decision support which is delivered to the decision maker through a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI) using information fusion and fast information aggregation to create situational awareness in the shortest time possible. The system also contains risk and vulnerability information which was designed with the far end of the warning chain in mind – it enables the decision maker to base his acceptance (or refusal) of the supported decision also on regionally differentiated risk and vulnerability information (see Strunz et al., 2010). While the system strives to provide a warning as quickly as possible, it is not in its proper responsibility to send and disseminate the warning to the recipients. The DSS only broadcasts its messages to a dissemination system (and possibly any other dissemination system) which is operated under the responsibility of BMKG – the meteorological, climatological and geophysical service of Indonesia – which also hosts the tsunami early warning center. The system is to be seen as one step towards the development of a "system of systems" enabling all countries around the Indian Ocean to have such early warning systems in place. It is within the responsibility of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceonographic Commission (IOC) and in particular its Intergovernmental Coordinating Group (ICG) to coordinate and give recommendations for such a development. Therefore the Decision Support System presented here is designed to be modular, extensible and interoperable (Raape et al., 2010).

Citation: Steinmetz, T., Raape, U., Teßmann, S., Strobl, C., Friedemann, M., Kukofka, T., Riedlinger, T., Mikusch, E., and Dech, S.: Tsunami early warning and decision support, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 1839-1850,, 2010.
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