The devastating impacts of tsunamis have received increased focus since the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the most destructive tsunami in over 400 years of recorded history. The tsunamis that occurred as a result of the earthquake in Japan in March 2011 further emphasized the need for detection, monitoring, and early-warning technologies. This professional reference is the first of its kind: it provides a globally inclusive review of the current state of tsunami detection technology and will be a much-needed resource for oceanographers and marine engineers working to upgrade and integrate their tsunami warning systems. It focuses on the two main tsunami warning systems (TWS): International and Regional. Featured are comparative assessments of detection, monitoring, and real-time reporting technologies. The challenges of detection through remote measuring stations are also addressed, as well as the historical and scientific aspects of tsunamis.

Key Features

  • Offers readers the only source of practical content on the technological details of the subject
  • Written by a tsunami detection and monitoring expert who has 32 years of experience in the field
  • Companion web site featuring multi-media components, timely updates on fast-paced technological developments, and an online forum where scientists can exchange ideas, discuss technological updates and provide the author with valuable feedback


Oceanographers and Marine Engineers; some Researchers in Oceanography and Marine Engineering, Geologists, Government Officials, and Equipment Manufacturers

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Tsunami Generation and Historical Aspects

2.1. Tsunamis Generated by Seaquakes

2.2. Tsunamis Generated by Surface/Submarine Landslides and Rock Avalanches

2.3. Tsunamis Generated by Volcanic Eruptions

2.4. Tsunamis Generated by Meteorological Disturbances

2.5. Tsunamis Generated by Underwater Gas Emission

2.6. Tsunamis Generated by Asteroid Impacts

Chapter 3. Tsunami Databases

3.1. The United States Tsunami Database

3.2. The Russia Tsunami Databases

3.3. The UNESCO Tsunami Database

3.4. The Japan Tsunami Database

3.5. The Greece Tsunami Database

Chapter 4. Geophysical Tsunami Hydrodynamics

4.1. Propagation

4.2. Features of Geophysical Tsunamis

4.3. Influence of Midocean Ridges, Straits, and Continental Shelves

4.4. Tsunamis on Islands

4.5. Tsunami-Induced Seiches in Harbors

4.6. Tsunamis in Inland Water Bodies

Chapter 5. Impact of a Tsunami on Coastal and Island Habitats

Chapter 6. The Protective Role of Coastal Ecosystems

Chapter 7. Earthquake Detection and Monitoring for Early Warnings of Seismogenic Tsunamis

7.1. Earthquake Precursors

7.2. Earthquake Detection Through Monitoring the Behavior of Animals, Reptiles, and Birds

Chapter 8. Numerical Models for Forecasting

Chapter 9. The Role of IOC-UNESCO in Tsunami Early Warnings

Chapter 10. Earthquake Monitoring for Early Tsunami Warnings

10.1. Seismic Network of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Chapter 11. Open Ocean Tsunami Detection

11.1. Detection Using Seafloor Pressure Measurement

11.2. Detection Using Orbiting Satellite Altimeters

11.3. Detection Using Optical Devices in Satellites and Aircrafts

11.4. Detection Using O


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Academic Press
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About the author

Antony Joseph

Antony Joseph has an oceanographic career of about 36 years. He has worked at POL (UK), where part of his Ph.D work was carried out. He lead the establishment of a sea-level station at the central east Atlantic coast, the data from which, in the absence of other data from this region, became highly valuable in understanding the global extent of the December 2004 global tsunami. His contribution enables real-time Internet viewing of data in graphical format ( He authored two Elsevier books: (1) Tsunamis, (2) Measuring Ocean Currents; published chapters in books, articles in Encyclopedias, research papers in journals; and interacted with the public through print and audiovisual communication medias.


"The general topic of tsunamis, as well as some specific aspects of tsunamis, are subjects of several books that have appeared in recent years (e.g., Tsunamis, edited by E. Bernard and A. Robinson, CH, Jul'09, 46-6215). One relatively neglected aspect (in comprehensive book format, at least) is the technology of tsunami detection, monitoring, and real-time reporting. Joseph (National Institute of Oceanography, India) admirably addresses these vital subjects in this 21-chapter book containing copiously referenced (800-plus citations) and illustrated technical introductory and state-of-the-art material. The first nine chapters deal primarily with the science of tsunamis and the history and record of investigations. The second half of the book deals with early seismic warnings, end-to-end communications, methods of measuring sea level in shallow and deep sea regions, telemetry of data, analyzing tsunami signals, and assessing technologies for specific environmental situations. Early warning systems are described for the US, Japan, Russia, Chile, New Zealand, and other countries. The subject coverage is broad and globally relevant to coastal engineers, scientists, disaster managers, oceanographers, and all people living within the reach of tsunamis. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."-- T. L. T. Grose, emeritus, Colorado School of Mines.