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Student Research Guide; Tsunami Early Alert Systems: Home

by David Hanft

Introduction to the Topic



After the devastating disaster in 2004, when 100,000 people lost their lives around the Indian Ocean, the topic of tsunamis for the first time gained a lot of attention among the general public. The word tsunami comes from the Japanese and means harbor wave.
Tsunamis are one of the most impressive and destructive natural disasters on earth. Tsunamis are mostly caused by underwater earthquakes, when two earth plates overlap and huge forces of energy are released, causing circular waves to spread in all directions. At first, these waves are hardly distinguishable from other (normal) waves. However, when these waves reach shallower waters, they become larger and larger and the famous waves up to 12 meters high arise, sweeping away everything in their path.
This kind of natural disaster cannot be prevented by man. In the following research guide, I will investigate how tsunami early warning systems can help to warn people of a tsunami at an early stage, and how widespread they are. Especially, whether there are differences between developing and industrialized countries, I will discuss in my research guide. 


Keywords for searching the topic



Underwater Earthquake

Seismic Sea Waves

Pacific Tsunami Warning System

Preparedness and Response

Tsunami Costs 

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami 

Regional, Global and National Early Warning Systems.


Best Databases/Search Engines

Start Your Research Here

John Farndon. Extreme Earthquakes and Tsunamis. Hungry Tomato ®, 2018. EBSCOhost,

 It gives a simple, short, but still professional impression into the big topic of tsunamis.

The first thing I wanted to do was read up on the subject of tsunamis and the source helped a lot with that. 



Tsunami Warning and Preparedness; an Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts.” 

Reference & Research Book News, vol. 27, no. 6, Ringgold, Inc, 2012.

It gives a detailed insight into the individual early warning systems and when they were created.

It shows the different approaches to respond and be prepared for tsunamis.

Just as with the source before, I used this one to gather initial information on the subject of tsunami early warning systems.


Satake, Kenji. Tsunamis Case Studies and Recent Developments . 1st ed. 2005., Springer Netherlands, 2005, doi:10.1007/1-4020-3331-1. Tsunamis: Case Studies and Recent Developments. Vol. 23, Springer Netherlands,


Insights on early warning systems, how they work and whether they help.

Where, which early warning systems are used.

This source had also given a not too detailed, but rather superficial insight about my subject. After reading the report, I could then go into more detail.

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