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NOAA Center for Tsunami Research NOAA

The TIME Center has been incorporated into the
NOAA Center for Tsunami Research

The Center for Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts (TIME), now incorporated into the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research (NCTR), was created to assist the Pacific States in the development and maintenance of maps which identify areas of potential tsunami flooding. This website presents historical information about the formation and evolution of the TIME center.

Following the April 1992 California earthquake/tsunami, Senator Mark O. Hatfield recognized the threat posed by offshore earthquakes and tsunamis and led the Congressional effort to address the issue. In 1995 and 1996 the Congress passed appropriation legislation which instructed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with the Pacific states to design a comprehensive program to mitigate the risk posed by tsunamis. The first year of the five-year plan for a systematic risk reduction program was funded in the Federal budget in fiscal year 1997. The program includes the installation of new technology to detect offshore earthquakes and tsunamis, broad public education, and the creation of the Center for the Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts (TIME).

Tsunamis generated by undersea earthquakes and landslides have caused tragic loss of life and extensive property damage in the coastal communities of Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington. Tsunamis in geologically similar areas such as Papua New Guinea, Japan, Nicaragua, and other Pacific Rim countries have been tragic reminders of the devastation that can occur in coastal areas lacking adequate preparation for these infrequent but powerful events. Detailed maps of future flooding (inundation) are needed for delineation of evacuation routes and long-term planning in vulnerable coastal communities. In addition, these maps require maintenance and upgrades as better data becomes available and coastal changes occur. The TIME center worked cooperatively with the U.S. Pacific States to develop inundation maps to meet this need.

Following the Indonesian Sumatra tsunami of Dec 26, 2004, the PMEL Tsunami Research Program and the TIME Center were incorporated into the newly formed NOAA Center for Tsunami Research (NCTR). The NCTR objectives include:

  • Tsunami Warning Buoys: Research in support of improved measurement technology and the design of optimal tsunami monitoring networks
  • Modeling and Forecasting: Research, development and implementation of improved models to increase the speed and accuracy of operational forecasts and warnings
  • Inundation Mapping: Research and development of improved methods to predict tsunami impacts on the population and infrastructure of coastal communities

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