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Using web-based and social networking technologies to disseminate coastal hazard mitigation information within the Pacific Northwest component of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)

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11 Author(s)
D. L. Martin ; Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, USA ; J. C. Allan ; J. Newton ; D. W. Jones
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At 9:46:23 pm Pacific Time on March 10, 2011 (05:46:23 UTC on March 11), a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred 129 km (80 miles) off the coast of Sendai, a city in Honshu, Japan. The Tohoku earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami that produced an inundation wave height as high as 30 m that propagated throughout the entire Pacific Ocean basin. Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) buoys positioned around the Pacific Ocean provided real-time data of the impending tsunami as it travelled across the ocean towards the U.S. West Coast. Because of this warning, coastal communities in Washington and Oregon were on guard by the time the tsunami hit the West Coast almost 9 hours after the earthquake occurred. Harbors along the Oregon coast, including Depoe Bay, Coos Bay, and Brookings, and in Crescent City, California reported damage to docks and boats in the harbor. In the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), the regional association that manages and operates the Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) for this area of the country as part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) enterprise, provided extensive information to the public about the timing, severity, and government agency recommended actions to take as a result of this event. These included Tsunami Evacuation Zones for the Oregon Coast, providing users of the NANOOS Visualization System with easy access to near real-time current, water height, and other information for a wide variety of U.S. IOOS assets, and posting NANOOS Facebook updates regarding the tsunami passage. We discuss the implications of the use of standard (web-based) means of disseminating coastal hazard mitigation information and discuss possible opportunities that social networking technologies present for providing such information as our society increasingly depends on mobile-technologies and applications.

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19-22 Sept. 2011