Predicting tsunami arrivals: Estimates and policy implications

Dao Hua Zhang, Tsz Leung Yip, Chiu On Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Tsunami is one of a few kinds of natural disasters that leave people some time for escape. This escape time, which is essentially the time for the giant wave to propagate from the epicentre to a coast, has to be estimated without delay upon the occurrence of the incident. With the advancement of water wave theories, much work has been done to model the propagation of tsunamis from deep oceans to shallow water. The authors argue that while much emphasis has been put on the expansion of the high-tech early warning system and the development of complicated tsunami models, a simple-to-use yet accurate predictive model is still wanting. This paper presents a handy linear wave model, which is capable of estimating the arrival time of a tsunami with very good accuracy, as has been verified by comparison with past incidents. With the availability of such a simple model, even local communities without access to a high-tech warning system can readily estimate the time left for emergency evacuation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Contingency plan
  • Disaster management
  • Tsunami arrival
  • Tsunami warning
  • Water wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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