A study of the upstream-downstream interface in end-to-end tsunami early warning and mitigation systems

Maheshika Sakalasuriya, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Siri Hettige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tsunami early warning and mitigation systems are typically used to detect the tsunami inundation before the impact so that vulnerable communities can be alerted and the damage can be minimized. These systems typically entail upstream and downstream processes, starting from the detection of tsunami wave and finishing with safe evacuation of people. There is an interface between upstream and downstream mechanisms where the warning is issued and the decision to evacuate people are taken. In individual countries, the system by which the information is disseminated from a national point to individual communities varies significantly. Due to the complex nature of different administrative systems, it is difficult to understand who takes the decision to evacuate, at which point and how is it taken. This paper is the first part of a larger study undertaken to understand and evaluate the interface between the upstream and downstream mechanisms of the tsunami early warning system. The objective of the paper is to present the findings of a literature review conducted as an initial step to the above study and to understand the state of the art and practices related to the interface of an end-to-end tsunami warning and mitigation system. Using the conceptual analysis method, the literature is grouped and analysed to understand the concepts related to the tsunami early warning system, particularly focusing on the issues pertaining to the interface. Through the literature review, a conceptual framework is developed, presenting nine concepts and their relationships within the interface. This conceptual framework will serve as a strong theoretical foundation for the future steps to be taken under the above study.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalMATEC Web of Conferences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Aug 2018

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