Machine learning can help detect tsunamis earlier •


Tsunamis are giant waves produced by explosive underwater activity, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. While there are certain detection techniques that can warn of tsunamis as they develop, a new study from Cardiff University focuses on identifying methods that could lead to earlier detection .

“Tsunamis have a devastating impact on communities. Developing precise methods to detect them quickly is essential for saving lives, ”said Dr Usama Kadri, an expert at Cardiff University’s School of Mathematics.

Researchers analyzed deep sound recordings following 201 earthquakes in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Earthquakes typically trigger tsunamis when tectonic plates move vertically rather than horizontally, replacing large volumes of water and causing tsunami waves. This unique movement in turn creates unique sounds, and the sound can be used to locate the location of such earthquakes.

Bernabe Gomez, a doctoral student in the research team, used this data to train artificial intelligence to alert scientists when a vertical earthquake has occurred and to quickly predict a tsunami.

“Our results show that we are able to classify the type of earthquake and recover its main properties from acoustic signals, in near real time. These methods will complement existing technology for real-time tsunami analysis and provide another tool for experts working to detect them, ”said Dr Kadri.

“This work is an integral part of a larger project to create a more reliable tsunami early warning system. “

Dr Kadri detailed the study, noting that the research is a step towards even better technical mastery of tsunami forecasting.

“Tectonic movements are very complicated, with horizontal and vertical elements. Some earthquakes have a greater capacity to generate tsunamis than others, ”explained Dr Kadri.

“Using digital signal processing techniques, we can analyze sound recordings of underwater earthquakes, which train artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to classify the type of earthquake and its moment magnitude. This is an important step for a reliable tsunami early warning system, as the type of earthquake can dictate whether a tsunami will be generated. “

Through Zach fitzner, Editor-in-chief

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