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Boost for Tsunami detection capability in WA.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Peter Garrett MP Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

PG /148 7 October 2008


Australia’s tsunami detection capability has been further enhanced with the deployment of

another two Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DARTTM) buoys off the

northwest coast of Australia, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said today.

“With five buoys now deployed off the Australian coast the Bureau is able to monitor

changes in the sea level for signs of potential tsunami threat from the Sunda Trench and

Timor Trough.

“The additional deep-ocean tsunami detection buoys will provide vital sea level

observations for the west coast of Australia and real-time tsunami detection.

Mr Garrett said the deployment of the additional two buoys took place on schedule as part of

the rollout of the $68.9 million Australian Tsunami Warning System, which would also

include the installation of sea level monitoring stations positioned around Australia’s

coastline by mid-2009.

Dr Ray Canterford, head of the Bureau’s tsunami warning project, said “the acquisition of

this information is critical to providing real time forecasts that allow warnings to be provided

with enough lead time to potentially reduce the loss of life and property in coastal


The DARTTM buoys consist of a bottom pressure sensor that is anchored to the seafloor,

and a companion moored surface buoy. An acoustic link transmits data from the bottom

pressure sensor to the surface buoy, and then satellite links relay the data to warning

centres for scientific analysis by the Bureau of Meteorology.