Large-Amplitude, Scattered Tsunami Wave Mapping Enabled by Ocean Bottom Seismometer Array Recordings

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Jian Shi1, Monica D Kohler1, Jean-Paul Ampuero1 and Jeannette Sutton2, (1)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)University of Kentucky, Department of Communication, Lexington, KY, United States
A deployment of ocean bottom seismometers off the coast of southern California recorded the March 2011 Tohoku tsunami on 22 differential pressure gauges (DPGs). The DPG tsunami records across the entire array show multiple large-amplitude, coherent phases arriving one hour to more than 36 hours after the initial tsunami phase. Analysis of the DPG recordings reveals possible locations of the geographical sources that contributed to secondary tsunami arrivals in southern California. A beamforming technique is applied to the DPG data to determine the azimuths and arrival times of scattered wave energy. In addition, a backward ray tracing procedure is applied to a wide range of back azimuth starting values from the DPG array to map possible source locations. The results show several possible candidates of secondary tsunami source structures. These include the Alaskan Peninsula island chain producing a tsunami arrival ~60 minutes after the first arrival, and the Hawaiian Islands producing an arrival ~170 minutes after the first arrival. The results are mapped into modified tsunami warning messages to show how a time-varying hazard could be communicated with more effective message format and content. The results are demonstrating the effects of including clearly described locations, time of impact, and hazard impact consequences on message perception among the public.