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background ]
A tsunami can be generated by any disturbance that rapidly
displaces a large mass of water, such as an earthquake, volcanic
eruption, landslide or meteorite impact. However, the most
common cause is an undersea earthquake. An earthquake which
is too small to create a tsunami by itself may trigger an
undersea landslide quite capable of generating a tsunami.
Waves are formed as the displaced water mass moves under the
influence of gravity to regain its equilibrium and radiates
across the ocean like ripples on a pond.
If the initial event is sensed, the coupled
system of partial differential equations
can be utilized to simulate the propagation of tsunami waves
and issue a tsunami warning, if necessary. The equations are
known as the shallow water wave equations (Pelinovsky et al.
2001, Layton 2002). Here, u and v are the horizontal velocity
components of the water surface, x and y are the spatial coordinates
of the wave, t is elapsed time, g is the acceleration due
to gravity, and h is the height of the wave above the ocean
floor topography b.
The critical problem is how to sense the initial earthquake.
How the TsunamiHarddiskDetector copes with these problems
is explained here.
