Science news NOAA Tide Stations Upgraded NOAA upgraded 33 tide stations in an effort to detect tsunamis quicker as part of the National Water Level Observation Network. Network tide stations normally equipped to record tidal data once every hour can now collect tidal data every six minutes, and can transmit that date through NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental satellites (GOES). The upgraded tide gauges also collect one minute averaged tide data that are available to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. This enhances the tsunami detection and confirmation capability of the centers, allowing forecasters to view real-time data of any station in the network. "Tsunami detection and confirmation can be vital in preventing the loss of human life," said John H. Dunnigan, assistant administrator of NOAA's National Ocean Service. "Efficient data collection is an essential tool to coastal managers for rapid forecasting and the issuance of critical warnings that can help save lives of people in the tsunami's path." "We have upgraded equipment at the 33 water level stations, and have added 15 new stations in Alaska, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and on the West Coast," said Mike Szabados, director of NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. "Near the end of 2007, NOAA will incorporate all tide gauges on the West, East and Gulf coasts to create an unprecedented array of more than 150 stations." Tsunami Detection for IOR NOAA has joined the government of Thailand in launching the first Deepocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) buoy station in the Indian Ocean to assist in detecting tsunamis. Following a ceremony in Phuket, Thailand, where the December 26, 2004 tsunami caused the most extensive damage in Thailand, the MV SEAFDEC set sail to deploy the buoy about mid-way between Thailand and Sri Lanka. NOAA scientists and engineers were onboard to provide technical assistance during the launch operations. With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), NOAA built and provided the DART station on behalf of the U.S. government. The buoy will be maintained by the Thai Meteorological Department and National Disaster Warning Center. The station's data will be available to all nations through the World Meteorological Organization Global Telecommunications System and will be part of the GEOSS. 20 MTR South Korea's First Deep Ocean Observatory System Global Marine Systems Limited, a subsea cable installation and maintenance company, has installed South Korea's first deep sea ocean observatory system to help detect high levels of seismic activity. The 20 km seismic cable installed in November, as part of a test project for the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), stretches from the island of Ulleungdo, 135km east of the Korean peninsula, out to sea. If successful, similar systems could be installed along the rest of the Korean Peninsula. Global Marine's Wave Mercury ship installed the seismic cable and OBU (Ocean Bottom Unit) at a depth of 2,000 m on behalf of its client KIT Valley, providers of seismic monitoring systems. The OBU acts as a "listening device" on the seafloor, by sensing changes in water pressure and acoustic vibrations. This data is then relayed back in real time via the seismic cable direct to staff at the KMA. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org January 2007
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