The Bush Administration today announced a plan to expand U.S. tsunami detection and warning capabilities as part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), the international effort to develop a comprehensive, sustained and integrated Earth observation system. The plan commits a total of $37.5 million over the next two years. The new monitoring buoys are in red (below).
This plan will enable enhanced monitoring, detection, warning and communications that will protect lives and property in the U.S. and a significant part of the world”, said John H. Marburger III, Science Advisor to the President. Working through GEOSS and other international partners, the U.S. will continue to provide leadership in planning and implementing a global observation system and a global tsunami warning system, which will ultimately include the Indian Ocean, Marburger said.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will deploy 32 new advanced technology Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) buoys for a fully operational tsunami warning system by mid-2007. In addition, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will enhance its seismic monitoring and information delivery from the Global Seismic Network, a partnership with the National Science Foundation.
The new system will provide the United States with nearly 100% detection capability for a U.S. coastal tsunami, allowing response within minutes. The new system will also expand monitoring capabilities throughout the entire Pacific and Caribbean basins, providing tsunami warning for regions bordering half of the world s oceans. The United States has led the GEOSS effort since 2003 when the G-8 called for establishing a global observation system.
GEOSS now has 54 participating nations including India, Indonesia and Thailand. The GEOSS design for this new system is scheduled to be adopted at the Third Earth Observation Summit that will be held in Brussels this February.
Robert X, Cringely (or whatever his real name is), thinks he has a better idea. Students have Built a Tsunami Warning System using an Open Tsunami Alert System. It is based on commercial SMS cellular messaging services like the disasterwarning.com and AlertsUSA that beam a message to your phone or PDA. Who knows.