1 August 2011

World-first tsunami warning system for WA

In the next few months, Australian scientists will activate a world-first tsunami warning system in the remote East Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Geoscience Australia says the device will be able to track earthquakes off Indonesia in real time, which will make accurate tsunami predictions possible.

In the hot and dusty ranges of the inland Pilbara, about an hour by four-wheel drive from Marble Bar, technicians have been installing the new seismic system.

Thirteen boreholes have been drilled over a 26-square kilometre area.

Lowered into them, 30 metres down, are a series of seismometers and supporting equipment.

"The sensors are only down about 15 metres, about halfway just to keep an eye on the stability of the borehole," one of the technicians said.

They will monitor earthquakes that happen around the Indian Ocean, but particularly along the Indonesian archipelago.

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