A Tsunami Warning System Based on Offshore Bottom Pressure Gauges and Data Assimilation for Crete Island in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin

Yuchen Wang, Mohammad Heidarzadeh, Kenji Satake, Iyan E. Mulia, Masaki Yamada

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29 Citations (SciVal)


The Eastern Mediterranean Basin (EMB) is under the threat of tsunami events triggered by various causes including earthquakes and landslides. We propose a deployment of Offshore Bottom Pressure Gauges (OBPGs) around Crete Island, which would enable tsunami early warning by data assimilation for disaster mitigation. Our OBPG network consists of 12 gauges distributed around Crete Island, with a 100-km interval, based on three criteria to select the locations. The station network must have a good azimuthal coverage and have enough (>50 km) distance from the coast, and the OBPGs are placed at the locations where the most energetic wave dynamics occur, which is confirmed by Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of pre-calculated tsunami scenarios. We demonstrate three test cases comprising a hypothetical seismogenic tsunami in east Sicily, a hypothetical landslide tsunami in the Aegean Sea, and the real tsunami event of the May 2020 off the Crete earthquake. Our designed OBPG network achieves an accuracy of 88.5% for the hypothetical seismogenic tsunami and 87.3% for the hypothetical landslide tsunami with regard to the forecasting of first tsunami peak. For the real event of May 2020, it predicts the tsunami arrival at tide gauge NOA-04 accurately; the observed and forecasted amplitudes of the first wave are 5.0 cm and 4.5 cm, respectively. The warning lead time for the May 2020 event was ~10 min. Therefore, our results reveal that the assimilation of OBPG data can satisfactorily forecast the amplitudes and arrival times for tsunamis in the EMB.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JB020293
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is partly supported by the Royal Society, UK, grant number CHL\R1\180173 (M. H.), and JSPS KAKENHI 16H01838 (K. S.) and 19J20293 (Y. W.). Y. W. thanks Dr. Zhouqiao Zhao of Peking University for his help with job script.

Publisher Copyright:
©2020. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • 2020 off the Crete Earthquake
  • Crete Island
  • landslide tsunami
  • Offshore Bottom Pressure Gauge
  • tsunami data assimilation
  • tsunami warning system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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