JDR Vol.10 No.sp pp. 770-776
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2015.p0770


Proposal for Robust Monitoring of Catastrophic Tsunami Using Onshore Strain and Tilt Geodetic Sensors

Hiroaki Takahashi

Institute of Seismology and Volcanology, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University
N10 W8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan

April 1, 2015
August 4, 2015
September 1, 2015
tsunami monitoring, geodetic sensor, the 2011 Tohoku tsunami

Tsunami monitoring is fundamental and essential for disaster warnings and rescue operations. The gigantic tsunami caused by the Tohoku earthquake off Japan’s Pacific coast in 2011 completely destroyed tsunami observation facilities along the seashore. The subsequent lack of real-time monitoring data caused confusions in devastated area rescue operations. These experiences indicate a need for more robust tsunami monitoring techniques to enable catastrophic events observation. We tested a hypothesis on whether secure onshore strain and tilt sensors could be used as tsunami gauges. We compared data from tsunami gauges and strain and tilt meters for 2011 Japan and 2010 Chile tsunami events clearly indicating that geodetic sensors recorded tsunami signals well. The high correlation between geodetic signals and tsunami height indicated that tsunami height could be estimated using only onshore geodetic data, i.e., secure onshore strain and tilt meters could act as robust tsunami monitoring systems when catastrophic events occur.

Cite this article as:
H. Takahashi, “Proposal for Robust Monitoring of Catastrophic Tsunami Using Onshore Strain and Tilt Geodetic Sensors,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.10, No.sp, pp. 770-776, 2015.
Data files:
  1. [1]  T. Ozaki, “Outline of the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake (Mw 9.0),” Earth Planets Space, Vol.63, pp. 827-830, 2011.
  2. [2]  N. Mori, T. Takahashi, T. Yasuda, and H. Yanagisawa, “Survey of 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami inundation and run-up,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2011GL049210.
  3. [3]  H. Gokon and S. Koshimura, “Mapping of building damage of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami in Miyagi prefecture,” Coast. Eng. J., Vol.54, 1250006, 2012.
  4. [4]  A. Suppasri, S. Koshimura, K. Imai, E. Mas, H. Gokon, A. Muhari, and F. Imamura, “Damage characteristic and field survey of the 2011 Great East Japan tsunami in Miyagi prefecture,” Coast. Eng. J., Vol.54, 1250005, 2012.
  5. [5] 201101/ saigaijitextunderscore 201101.html [accessed July 22, 2015]
  6. [6]  H. Tsushima, K. Hirata, Y. Hayashi, Y. Tanioka, K. Kimura, S. Sakai, M. Shinohara, T. Kanazawa, R. Hino, and K. Maeda, “Near-field tsunami forecasting using offshore tsunami data from the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake,” Earth Planets Space, Vol.63, pp. 821-826, 2011.
  7. [7]  H. Tsushima and Y. Ohta, “Review on Near-Field Tsunami Forecasting from Offshore Tsunami Data and Onshore GNSS Data for Tsunami Early Warning,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9, pp. 339-357, 2014.
  8. [8]  T. Kimura, S. Tanaka, and T. Saito, “Ground tilt changes in Japan caused by the 2010 Maule, Chile, earthquake tsunami,” J. Geophys. Res., Vol.118, pp. 406-415, 2013.
  9. [9]  Boudin, S. F. Allgeyer, P. Bernard, H. Hébert, M. Olcay, R. Madariaga, M. El-Madani, J. P. Vilotte, S. Peyrat, A. Nercessian, B. Schurr, M. F. Esnoult, G. Asch, I. Nunez, and M. Kammenthaler, “Analysis and modelling of tsunami-induced tilt for the 2007, M=7.6, Tocopilla and the 2010, M=8.8 Maule earthquakes, Chile, from long-base tiltmeter and broadband seismometer records,” Geophys. J. Int., Vol.194, pp. 269-288, 2013.
  10. [10]  Y. Mitsui and K. Heki, “Scaling of early afterslip velocity and possible detection of tsunami-induced subsidence by GPS measurements immediately after the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake,” Geophys. J. Int., Vol.195, pp. 238-248, 2013.
  11. [11]  K. Nawa, N. Suda, K. Satake, Y. Fujii, T. Sato, K. Doi, M. Kanao, and K. Shibuya, “Loading and Gravitational Effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami at Syowa Station,” Antarctica, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., Vol.97, pp. 271-278, 2007.
  12. [12]  I. Ozawa, “On the observations of crustal strains due to Chile tide wave,” Disaster Prevention Res. Inst. Annu., Vol.4, pp. 36-44, 1961.
  13. [13]  Y. Tanaka and T. Tanaka, “On the ground tilt and strain caused by the Chile tsunami,” Disaster Prevention Res. Inst. Annu., Vol.4, pp. 45-60, 1961.
  14. [14]  T. Yamaguchi, M. Kasahara, H. Takahashi, M. Okayama, M. Takada, and M. Ichiyanagi, “Development of crustal deformation database system,” J. Geodetic Soc. Japan, Vol.56, pp. 47-57, 2010.
  15. [15]  W. E. Farrell, “Deformation of the earth by surface loads,” Rev. Geophys., Vol.10, pp. 761-797, 1972.
  16. [16]  S. D. Pagiatakis, “The response of a realistic earth to ocean tide loading,” Geophys. J. Int., Vol.103, pp. 541-560, 1990.
  17. [17]  M. Sato, T. Ishikawa, N. Ujihara, S. Yoshida, M. Fujita, M. Mochizuki, and A. Asada, “Displacement Above the Hypocenter of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake,” Science, Vol.332, p. 6036, 2011.
  18. [18]  T. Iinuma, R. Hino, M. Kido, D. Inazu, Y. Osada, Y. Ito, M. Ohzono, H. Tsushima, S. Suzuki, H. Fujimoto, and S. Miura, “Coseismic slip distribution of the 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku earthquake (M9.0) refined by means of seafloor geodetic data,” J. Geophys. Res., Vol.117, doi:10.1029/2012JB009186, 2012.
  19. [19]  Y. Tamura, T. Sato, M. Ooe, and M. Ishiguro, “A procedure for tidal analysis with a Bayesian information criterion,” Geophys. J. Int., Vol.104, pp. 507-516, 1991.
  20. [20]  The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami Joint Survey (TTJS) Group, 2015, [accessed July 22, 2015]
  21. [21]  Hokkaido local government, “Tsunami inundation map along Pacific coast of Hokkaido, Japan,” 2012, http://www.pref.hokkaido. [accessed March 31, 2015]
  22. [22]  H. Takahashi et al., “Crustal deformation data is available via WWW server in real-time,” Abstract of Japan Geoscience Union Meeting, STT59-P04, 2012.
  23. [23] [accessed July 22, 2015]
  24. [24] [accessed July 22, 2015]
  25. [25]  Cabinet office of government of Japan, “Damage estimation due to Nankai trough great earthquake,” 2014, jishin/nankai/nankaitroughtextunderscore info.html [accessed March 31, 2015]
  26. [26]  P. Wessel, W. H. F. Smith, R. Scharroo, J. F. Luis, and F. Wobbe, “Generic Mapping Tools: Improved version released,” EOS Trans. AGU, Vol.94, pp. 409-410, 2013.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, IE9,10,11, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 23, 2019