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J. M. Vassie, P. L. Woodworth, and M. W. Holt

Abstract

During 1999, the dataloggers of the pressure transducer–based tide gauges at Ascension and St. Helena Islands were upgraded in order to enable the monitoring of wave conditions in addition to the measurement of still water levels. Within a few months, the gauges had recorded an example of unusually large deep-ocean swell, which, from the inspection of numerical wave model output, appears to have been generated by the remains of Hurricane Irene in the North Atlantic almost 1 week earlier. This fortuitous event serves to remind us of the potential importance of swells to communities on distant, low-lying coasts, particularly if the climatology of swells is modified under future climate change, and of the importance of in situ wave recording to wave model development. It is suggested that global ocean monitoring programs should place greater emphasis than hitherto on swell monitoring and prediction, with one component of the monitoring being provided by island tide gauges.

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S. J. Holgate, P. L. Woodworth, P. R. Foden, and J. Pugh

Abstract

This short note provides conclusions of a study of the various factors that determine the delay between tsunami arrival at a tide gauge station and data being made available at tsunami warning centers. The various delays involved include those associated with the tide gauge hardware and measurement methods and with the form of telemetry employed. It is shown that the most widely used form of telemetry in existing tsunami networks (meteorological satellite data collection platforms) can be improved upon significantly with the use of modern telemetry alternatives [notably Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN)], enabling faster, more frequent, more secure, and higher bandwidth transmissions of tide gauge data.

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