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U.S. ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR AN IMPROVED TSUNAMI DETECTION AND WARNING SYSTEM

NOAA image of Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) system in-place and proposed for the expanded tsunami warning system.Jan 14, 2005 ó Plans were announced today to expand the U.S. tsunami detection and warning capabilities as a contribution of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or 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. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) system in-place and proposed for the expanded tsunami warning system. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)[Please note that there will be two redundant systems co-located in the Aleutian Islands, which are the two yellow dots that appear on the left-hand side of the map.]

“President Bush is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of U.S. lives and property through a system of monitoring and emergency response that will mitigate the effects of natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis,” said John H. Marburger III, science advisor to the President and director, Office of Science and Technology Policy. “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. 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.

NOAA image of retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, speaking at a Washington, D.C., news conference on plans to expand the tsunami warning system.(Click NOAA image for larger view of retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, speaking at a Washington, D.C., news conference on plans to expand the tsunami warning system. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”) NOAA image of retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, speaking at a Washington, D.C., news conference on plans to expand the tsunami warning system.(Click NOAA image for larger view of retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, speaking at a Washington, D.C., news conference on plans to expand the tsunami warning system. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA image of global seismograph network used to detect undersea earthquakes.With this new investment, NOAA will deploy 32 new advanced technology Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami, or DART, buoys for a fully operational tsunami warning system by mid-2007. In addition, the United States Geological Survey will enhance its seismic monitoring and information delivery from the Global Seismic Network, a partnership with the National Science Foundation. (Click NOAA image for larger view of global seismograph network used to detect undersea earthquakes. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

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.

NOAA image of Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) system. The United States has led the GEOSS effort since 2003 when the G-8 called for establishing a global observation system. The United States launched the GEOSS process by hosting the first Earth Observation Summit in July 2003. 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. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) system. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

The United States developed a Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System, which, like the GEOSS plan, focuses around nine societal benefit areas, including “Reduce loss of life and property from disasters” and “Protect and monitor our ocean resources.” The U.S. strategic plan will serve as the U.S. component to the GEOSS implementation plan.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Bulletins and Map

NOAA Tsunami Page

Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART)

NOAA Water Level Observation Network

NOAA and Tsunamis

NOAA Tsunami Detection and Warnings (PDF)

NOAA Indian Ocean Tsunami Weather Support

NOAA Tsunami Research Program

NOAA TsunamiReady Communities are Prepared

NOAA Tsunami Warning System Receives High Marks

NOAA Leading the Way in Tsunami Research and Education

Media Contact:
Scott Smullen, NOAA, (202) 482-6090; Delores Clark in Honolulu, Hawaii, (808) 532-6411; Jana Goldman, NOAA Research, in Silver Spring, Md, (301) 713-2483; or Ann Thomason in Seattle, Wash., (206) 526-6800