Science behind New Tsunami Warning System at the Ready
G12A-02 • Monday, Dec. 15, 10:35 a.m. • Moscone West 3024
S21A-4407 • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. • Moscone South Poster Hall
G52A-03 • Friday, Dec. 19, 10:50 a.m. • Moscone West 3024
For the millions who live along the world’s coastlines, a fast, accurate, and reliable tsunami early warning system is still a thing of the future. But scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC UC San Diego say current tsunami warning modeling tools and modern sensors can produce a detailed, site-specific forecast of tsunami intensity—not in some far off date in the future, but today. If implemented, such a system could save lives and untold costs in damage to populated coastlines.
Recent Scripps graduate Diego Melgar (now at UC Berkeley) will deliver two presentations on these advancements.
The presentations will describe cutting-edge models advanced by Melgar and Yehuda Bock, a Scripps researcher and Melgar’s former advisor, that forecast tsunami impacts using rapid kinematic models of earthquakes obtained from geophysical sensor networks that combine land-based GPS receivers and seismometers with offshore wave sensors that directly measure tsunami waves.
“People who live in coastal communities closest to the earthquake location where damage and loss of life are most severe still do not have an adequate tsunami warning system, although the technology is here,” said Bock. “Current systems are very good at basin-wide predictions, but that doesn’t help the ones closest to the event that triggered the tsunami.”
PRESENTATION TITLES: “REAL-TIME EARTHQUAKE ANALYSIS FOR DISASTER MITIGATION (READI) NETWORK (INVITED);” “RAPID TSUNAMI PROPAGATION AND INUNDATION MODELS FROM TIME-DEPENDENT EARTHQUAKE SOURCE INVERSIONS FROM LAND- AND OCEAN-BASED GEOPHYSICAL SENSORS;” AND “RAPID KINEMATIC SLIP INVERSION WITH REGIONAL GEOPHYSICAL DATA: TOWARDS SITE-SPECIFIC TSUNAMI INTENSITY FORECASTS”
What Makes the California Coast Cloudy During Summer?
A14B-07 • Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, 5:30 - 5:45 p.m. • Moscone West 3006
Data from 20 West Coast airports have linked the presence or absence of coastal low clouds to sea-surface temperature variations and to a multi-decadal climate cycle.
Rachel Schwartz, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will present findings of an analysis of cloud reports gathered since 1950 at West Coast airports that show coherent interannual and interdecadal variability, largely organized by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and a decline in coastal cloudiness that started in the 1950s as sea-surface temperatures generally warmed. That trend, though, has slowed or reversed since 1998, the year of the last major El Niño event.
“We bridged an apparent gap between research on broad-scale cloudiness over the oceans and research on regional coastal cloudiness and fog,” Schwartz said. “We focus on the terrestrial coastal margin in particular, yet do so over a very broad West Coast region, from San Diego all the way to the Aleutian Islands.”
Schwartz and co-authors of the Geophysical Research Letters article on which her presentation is based said that determining the role of human influences on coastal cloud dynamics was beyond the scope of the study, but acknowledged that that can be an important subject of future inquiry.
PRESENTATION TITLE: “NORTH AMERICAN WEST COAST SUMMER LOW CLOUDINESS: BROADSCALE VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE”
RELATED POSTER PRESENTATION: A11C-3036 • Monday, December 15, 2014 8:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. • Moscone South Poster Hall: “DRIVERS OF INTRA-SUMMER SEASONALITY AND DAILY VARIABILITY OF COASTAL LOW CLOUDINESS IN CALIFORNIA SUBREGIONS”
The National Climate Assessment as a Model of Science Communication
ED21E-02 • Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 • 8:15 - 8:30 a.m. Moscone South 102
The 2014 Third National Climate Assessment contained important and highly credible science, but it was also notable for the exemplary steps its creators took to communicate its findings.
Richard Somerville, a distinguished emeritus professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and a widely cited climate communicator, will discuss the lessons learned from the release of the report, which involved non-scientist communicators throughout the course of its development. The report, made accessible through an innovative web portal and enhanced by anecdotes of real-world climate impacts, was a success because communication goals and strategies were given a high priority throughout the process, rather than considered as an afterthought, Somerville argues.
“The National Climate Assessment is a report that can illustrate and inform the art of communicating to diverse audiences while staying true to the scientific results,” Somerville said.
PRESENTATION TITLE: “THE NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT AS A RESOURCE FOR SCIENCE COMMUNICATION”
GPS Technology Tapped for Monitoring Structural Hazards
S31C-4425 • Wednesday, Dec. 17, 8 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Moscone South Poster Hall
Having proven its broad value for navigation and smart phone apps, GPS technology is increasingly being leveraged by scientists for tracking high-precision movements of the earth.
Jennifer Haase of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will present the latest results from a group of scientists pairing GPS devices with accelerometer instruments to monitor the motions of structures during earthquakes. Such “geodetic modules” have been tested on buildings at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table and could eventually be installed widely on large structures to determine if motion exceeds building design safety and whether damage inspections are warranted.
In addition to 17 sites active near faults in Southern California, plans are in the works by Haase and Yehuda Bock, her collaborator at Scripps, to install such systems on the eight-story UCSD Medical Center building in San Diego and 10 sites near San Francisco Bay area faults.
“This seismogeodetic project shows that in addition to making everyone’s life more convenient, there are many ways that extremely precise GPS technology can contribute to mitigating hazards,” said Haase. “We’ve seen examples of this technology contributing to better forecasting of hurricanes with an airborne system, and earthquake early warning, and now we’re developing a new system for monitoring the structural health of buildings.”
PRESENTATION TITLE: “SEISMOGEODETIC MONITORING OF STRUCTURAL DEFORMATION DURING SHAKETABLE EXPERIMENTS”
Tracking Volcanic Explosions with Infrasound
NH33C-02 • Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1:55 p.m. • Moscone South 309
Scientists have known of the existence of ultra-low-pitch sound waves emitted by volcanoes since the deadly 1883 eruption of Indonesia’s Krakatoa Volcano. Now scientists are making rapid advances in using infrasound, the extremely low-frequency sound waves that travel below human hearing capacity, to help monitor volcanoes and the societal and economic hazards they pose.
Robin Matoza, a project scientist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will describe how recent advances in sensor technology and computer capacity have positioned infrasound to monitor volcanoes across thousands of miles in remote regions such as the north Pacific Ocean. He will describe the technologies behind a proposed infrasound early warning system to detect and locate eruptions and provide information about the sources of ash, which may reduce the economic impacts associated with eruptions.
“Large volcanic explosions generate powerful infrasound, which propagates long distances in atmospheric sound channels,” said Matoza. “New research has demonstrated the potential for using only a few infrasound arrays to monitor a broad volcanic region.”
The rich, acoustically diverse information within infrasound, Matoza said, can also provide details on underlying volcanic processes, including shallow magma storage, gas release, and surface processes such as rockfalls.
PRESENTATION TITLE: “LOCAL AND REMOTE INFRASOUND FROM EXPLOSIVE VOLCANISM” (INVITED)