Specifically, the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination program aimed for the water buoy's establishment, as they funded the project with an $822,000 grant.
The buoy was installed off Egmont Key in just 23 meters depth, in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Until now it has been monitoring data on the three-dimensional motion of the sea floor.
As the USF's Professor Tim Dixon noted, the system will further be able to detect small changes, as small as one to two centimeters, in the stress and strain Earth’s crust.
Moreover, the system is under experimental procedures as it rests on the bottom of the sea, using a heavy concrete ballast and is able to withstand several storms.
The buoy has been in the water now for more than a year, and has weathered several tropical storms and a hurricane. It has performed well, pretty much in line with our expectations.
...Tim Dixon announced.
As for the buoy's orientation, is calculated with the aid of a digital compass that offers heading, pitch, and roll information. Those aid to capture the crucial side-to-side motion of the Earth, leading to the diagnostic of major tsunami-producing earthquakes.
The giant earthquakes and tsunamis in Sumatra in 2004 and in Japan in 2011 are examples of the kind of events we’d like to better understand and forecast in the future.
...Tim Dixon continued.
Although Florida isn't an area prone to earthquakes, the Egmont Key location proved to be a well-fitted test area for the system. As it experiences strong tidal currents that tested the buoy’s stability and orientation correction system.
The findings of the project were recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. While its participants were also the Professor Rocco Malservisi and USF College of Marine Science’s Center for Ocean Technology research faculty member Chad Lembke.
Concluding, the climate change and its impacts are continuously increasing, as they play a major factor in the catastrophic tsunamis issue. To face the climate threats, scientists are making every effort to prevent those natural hazards.