Germany: Scientists say they have found a way to provide faster and more accurate early warning systems for tsunamis. Scientists from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences say GPS satellite-based positioning could offer detailed information about the events within minutes of an earthquake occurring.
GPS sensors placed around the coastlines of vulnerable countries could make highly precise measurements of how underwater tremors shift the ground.
Lead researcher Dr Andreas Hoechner explained, “In case of a subduction earthquake, one plate slips under another plate. It is measured in terms of relative displacement. This deformation is mostly above the source, but the coastal area is also deformed and this can be picked up by GPS.”
He said that this information could be used to reconstruct the source of the earthquake and calculate its magnitude.
“Then you can then predict the tsunami and see how high a wave could be expected, with some accuracy,” he added.
This process would take a matter of minutes, which would allow alerts to be issued extremely quickly.