CAT: the INGV Tsunami Alert Center

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Alberto Michelini, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy
After the big 2004 Sumatra earthquake, the tsunami threat posed by large earthquakes occurring in the Mediterranean sea was formally taken into account by many countries around the Mediterranean basin. In the past, large earthquakes that originated significant tsunamis occurred nearly once per century (Maramai et al., 2014, Annals of Geophysics).

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) received a mandate from the international community to coordinate the establishment of the ICG/NEAMTWS (http://neamtic.ioc-unesco.org) through Resolution IOC-XXIII-14. Since then, several countries (France, Turkey, Greece) have started operating as candidate Tsunami Watch Provider (cTWP) in the Mediterranean.

Italy started operating as cTWP on October 1st, 2014. The Italian cTWP is formed by INGV (“Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)”, DPC (“Dipartimento di Protezione Civile”) and ISPRA (“Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale”). INGV is in charge of issuing the alert for potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes, ISPRA provides the sea level recordings and DPC is in charge of disseminating the alert. 

INGV established the tsunami alert center (CAT, “Centro di Allerta Tsunami”) at the end of 2013. CAT is co-located with the INGV national seismic surveillance center operated since many years. In this work, we show the technical and personnel organization of CAT, its response to recent earthquakes, and the new procedures under development for implementation.

(*) INGV-CAT WG: Amato A., Basili R., Bernardi F., Bono A., Danecek P., De Martini P.M., Govoni A., Graziani L., Lauciani V., Lomax, A., Lorito S., Maramai A., Mele F., Melini D., Molinari I., Nostro C., Piatanesi A., Pintore S., Quintiliani M., Romano F., Selva J., Selvaggi G., Sorrentino D., Tonini R.