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Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART®)

Bottom Pressure Recorder (BPR) Data

In the 1980s, NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) developed deep ocean tsunameters for the early detection, measurement, and real-time reporting of tsunamis in the open ocean. The tsunameters were developed by PMEL's Project Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART®). A DART® system consists of a seafloor BPR system capable of detecting tsunamis as small as 1 centimeter, and a moored surface buoy for real-time communications. In 2003, operational responsibility of DART® transitioned from PMEL to the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).

There are currently 39 U.S. owned and operated DART® buoys installed throughout the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This completes the current requirements for the DART® array. Working with several international partners, NOAA has installed DART® systems in the Indian Ocean (data available at NDBC).

High-resolution, edited BPR Data, along with accompanying metadata, can be downloaded, viewed and plotted. Data include several signals, including tides and earthquake waves. In the open ocean, tsunamis are very small (a few centimeters), but tides can be large (~1 meter) and earthquake waves can be very large (several meters). Therefore, to see the tsunami the data need to be filtered to remove signals of tidal or earthquake frequencies. NGDC is in the process of providing these data online. To enquire about availability and access to raw or residual data sets, please contact the NGDC DART® Data manager.

Real-time DART® data are available from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center.

DART® buoy animation