Friday, July 15, 2011
Tsunamis create glowing atmospheric aura that may aid prediction
by Larry Geller
Seeing auras may help predict tsunamis one day. University of Illinois researchers report spotted a greenish glow in the atmosphere using a camera system mounted on the top of Haleakala Volcano in Maui.
It seems that the “airglow” results from gravity waves caused by a tsunami. The effect is to light up an area of the upper atmosphere that can be detected and perhaps used, in conjunction with other techniques, to predict a tsunami.
For details, read Atmospheric Airglow Helps Detect Tsunamis (Epoch Times, 7/14/2011).
The University of Illinois scientists analyzed the images to reveal specific wave periods and orientations, and then researchers in France, Brazil, and the United States cross-checked the results with the tsunami measurements, models, and GPS and satellite data.
“This is a reminder of how interconnected our environment is,” [researcher Jonathan] Makela said. “This technique provides a powerful new tool to study the coupling of the ocean and atmosphere and how tsunamis propagate across the open ocean.”