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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: New challenges for tsunami science: understanding tsunami...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1285-1292, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 May 2013

Research article | 17 May 2013

Instant tsunami early warning based on real-time GPS – Tohoku 2011 case study

A. Hoechner, M. Ge, A. Y. Babeyko, and S. V. Sobolev A. Hoechner et al.
  • GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Taking the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as an example, we demonstrate the ability of real-time GPS to provide qualified tsunami early warning within minutes. While in earlier studies we demonstrated the power of the so-called GPS shield concept based on synthetic data, we here present a complete processing chain starting from actual GPS raw data and fully simulate the situation as it would be in a warning center. The procedure includes processing of GPS observations with predicted high precision orbits, inversion for slip and computation of the tsunami propagation and coastal warning levels. We show that in case of the Tohoku earthquake, it would be feasible to provide accurate tsunami warning as soon as 3 min after the beginning of the earthquake.

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