NOAA Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis
1997 Deployment Cruises

July 1997 Cruise

Bad weather and electronic problems stalked this initial effort to establish two deep ocean stations with tsunami detection and real-time reporting systems. One system was successfully deployed; but due to high wind and waves it was impossible to determine if the system was working correctly or make any corrections at that time. The tsunami detection system on the ocean bottom was collecting data and storing it, however, battery and software problems prevented data from coming from the bottom via the acoustic modem, so were not transmitted to PMEL through the satellite telecommunications link. The effort of deploying the first buoy consumed all spare components on the ship so the second buoy was returned to Seattle.

September 1997 Cruise

This was the first operational NOAA cruise on the new NOAA Ship RONALD H. BROWN that sailed from San Diego in September 1997. A completely refurbished buoy system was loaded aboard and a successful deployment in 2890 meters of water was made 140 NM west of Newport, Oregon.

October 1997 Cruise

After the Oregon buoy system was operational, a concerted effort was made to return to Alaska to repair the first buoy deployed. At that time there were no UNOLS or NOAA ships available, so the RV REDEEMER, a 130' salvage tug, was chartered out of Dutch Harbor. The buoy was successfully repaired, but a rough ride to and from the site and lack of creature comforts made this cruise marginal for any but the hardiest of sailors.

Photographs courtesy of PMEL, DARPA and Datasonics

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