Time–Frequency Characteristics of Tsunami Magnetic Signals from Four Pacific Ocean Events

  • N. R. SchnepfEmail author
  • C. Manoj
  • C. An
  • H. Sugioka
  • H. Toh
Part of the Pageoph Topical Volumes book series (PTV)


The recent deployment of highly sensitive seafloor magnetometers coinciding with the deep solar minimum has provided excellent opportunities for observing tsunami electromagnetic signals. These fluctuating signals (periods ranging from 10–20 min) are generally found to be within \(\pm\) \(\sim\)1 nT and coincide with the arrival of the tsunami waves. Previous studies focused on tsunami electromagnetic characteristics, as well as modeling the signal for individual events. This study instead aims to provide the time–frequency characteristics for a range of tsunami signals and a method to separate the data’s noise using additional data from a remote observatory. We focus on four Pacific Ocean events of varying tsunami signal amplitude: (1) the 2011 Tohoku, Japan event (M9.0), (2) the 2010 Chile event (M8.8), (3) the 2009 Samoa event (M8.0) and, (4) the 2007 Kuril Islands event (M8.1). We find possible tsunami signals in high-pass filtered data and successfully isolate the signals from noise using a cross-wavelet analysis. The cross-wavelet analysis reveals that the longer period signals precede the stronger, shorter period signals. Our results are very encouraging for using tsunami magnetic signals in warning systems.


Tsunamis marine electromagnetics electromagnetic induction tsunami warning systems cross-wavelet analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. R. Schnepf
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • C. Manoj
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. An
    • 3
  • H. Sugioka
    • 4
  • H. Toh
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Colorado at Boulder, CIRESBoulderUSA
  2. 2.National Centers for Environmental InformationNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationBoulderUSA
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PlanetologyKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  5. 5.Data Analysis Center for Geomagnetism and Space MagnetismKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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