Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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University of South Florida (USF) geoscientists have successfully developed and tested a new high-tech shallow water buoy that can detect the small movements and changes in the Earth’s seafloor that are often a precursor to deadly natural hazards, like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

The buoy, created with the assistance of an $822,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination program, was installed off Egmont Key in the Gulf of Mexico in 2018 and has been producing data on the 3D motion of the sea floor.

The patent-pending seafloor geodesy system is an anchored spar buoy topped by high-precision GPS sensors. The buoy’s orientation is measured using a digital compass that provides heading, pitch and roll information—helping to capture the crucial side-to-side motion of the Earth that can be diagnostic of major tsunami-producing earthquakes. 


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