GPS Can Help Improve Tsunami Early Warnings, Says Researchers

tsunamiA German team of experts said that GPS satellite-based positioning could provide faster and more accurate early warning systems for tsunamis. They believe the technology could have improved alerts issued when the devastating tsunami hit Japan in 2011.

The team from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said that satellite navigation technology could offer detailed information on an occurring earthquake. 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 that the information GPS picks up could be used to reconstruct the source of earthquakes and to calculate its magnitude. The process of transmitting the information would just take few minutes, allowing alerts to be issued quickly.

The study was published in Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Sciences.