Near-bed velocity measurements in Monterey Bay during arrival of the 2010 Chile Tsunami

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Near-bed velocity measurements in Monterey Bay during arrival of the 2010 Chile Tsunami
On February 27, 2010, a tsunami originating near Chile arrived in Monterey Bay, California. This data release comprises two hours of pressure and near-bed velocity data spanning the largest tsunami waves. At the time, the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center had a remotely-controlled instrumented platform deployed adjacent to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf (mean depth 9 m) for collecting hydrodynamic and sediment transport data. In anticipation of the arrival of the tsunami, sampling was changed to better capture the event. Pressure and near-bed velocity profiles were measured at 1 Hz for 25 minutes every half hour. The velocities are influenced by surface waves, tsunami waves, and tidal currents. The velocity profiles capture the unsteady boundary layer that developed due to the tsunami-induced currents. They are useful for understanding the frictional interaction of the tsunami with the sea floor, as well as sediment transport produced by the tsunami.
Additional information about the field activities from which these data were derived is available online at:
Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. This Federal Geographic Data Committee-compliant metadata file is intended to document the data set in nonproprietary form.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Ferreira, Joanne C.T., Lacy, Jessica R., and Hatcher, Gerald, 20201231, Near-bed velocity measurements in Monterey Bay during arrival of the 2010 Chile Tsunami: data release doi:10.5066/P9T90PO1, U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Santa Cruz, California.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -122.0171
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -122.0169
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.957
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.9568
  3. What does it look like? 5fad942bd34eb413d5df4758?name=Seafloor_Observatory_Tripod.jpg&allowOpen=true (JPEG)
    Photograph of the Seafloor Observatory Tripod being deployed off the end of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf 5fad942bd34eb413d5df4758?name=PT058_Tsunami_velocity_plot.png&allowOpen=true (PNG)
    image of plotted water depth and velocity
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 27-Feb-2010
    Ending_Date: 27-Feb-2010
    ground condition at time data were collected.
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: NetCDF files
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      Data were collected continuously at survey locations. Refer to self-contained NetCDF files for more location information.
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 1.0E-5. Longitudes are given to the nearest 1.0E-5. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees. The horizontal datum used is World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84).
      The ellipsoid used is WGS84.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.0.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257223563.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    NetCDF files are self-contained and attribute information may be found in the header of the file itself.
    The entity and attribute information was generated by the individual and/or agency identified as the originator of the data set. Please review the rest of the metadata record for additional details and information.

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Joanne C.T. Ferreira
    • Jessica R. Lacy
    • Gerald Hatcher
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
    Attn: PCMSC Science Data Coordinator
    2885 Mission Street
    Santa Cruz, CA

    831-427-4747 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

These data were collected to measure conditions near the sea floor on the inner shelf during the arrival of a remote tsunami in Monterey Bay. Purposes for the data collection included determining sediment transport generated by the tsunami, and for producing a data set to test numerical models of tsunami flows and their interaction with the sea floor. These data are intended for science researchers, students, policy makers, and the general public.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 27-Feb-2010 (process 1 of 5)
    Programming of Sontek pulse coherent acoustic doppler profiler (PCADP) deployed in Monterey Bay changed to capture tsunami data.
    Date: 15-Mar-2010 (process 2 of 5)
    PCADP data processed using manufacturers software.
    Date: 26-Oct-2010 (process 3 of 5)
    Data from pulse-coherent velocimeters must be corrected for ambiguity errors, which occur when velocities exceed the resolved range (Lacy and Sherwood, 2004). To assist with this correction, the Sontek PCADP measures velocities (called resolution velocities) at a single point at relatively short range, where greater velocities can be resolved, before collecting each profile. For these four bursts, we first corrected ambiguity errors in the resolution velocities, attributable to the high instantaneous speeds produced by the combination of surface waves and the tsunami. Then ambiguity errors in the velocity profiles were resolved as described in Lacy and Sherwood (2004), using the corrected rather than raw resolution velocities.
    Date: 23-Nov-2020 (process 4 of 5)
    Data were accumulated into a NetCDF file and bad sensor data removed.
    Date: 13-Oct-2021 (process 5 of 5)
    Performed minor edits to the metadata to correct typos. No data were changed Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Susan A. Cochran
    2885 Mission Street
    Santa Cruz, CA

    831-460-7545 (voice)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Lacy, Jessica R., Rubin, David M., and Buscombe, Daniel, 2012, Currents, drag, and sediment transport induced by a tsunami.

    Online Links:

    Lacy, J.R., Rubin, D.M., and Buscombe, D., 2012, Currents, drag, and sediment transport induced by a tsunami: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 117, C09028, doi:10.1029/2012JC007954
    Lacy, Jessica R., and Sherwood, Christopher R., 2004, Currents, drag, and sediment transport induced by a tsunami.

    Online Links:

    Lacy, J.R., and Sherwood, C.R., 2004, Accuracy of a pulse-coherent acoustic doppler profiler in a wave-dominated flow: Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, v. 21(9), p. 1448-1461

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    No formal attribute accuracy tests were conducted.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Horizontal accuracy derived from GPS instrumentation is less than 1 m.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    Mean water depth at the tripod site was taken from a bathymetric map, and accuracy is estimated at 50 cm.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Dataset is considered complete for the information presented, as described in the abstract. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    No formal logical accuracy tests were conducted. Data fall within expected ranges.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
USGS-authored or produced data and information are in the public domain from the U.S. Government and are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize and acknowledge the U.S. Geological Survey as the originators of the dataset and in products derived from these data. This information is not intended for navigation purposes.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
    Denver Federal Center, Building 810, Mail Stop 302
    Denver, CO

    1-888-275-8747 (voice)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? These data are available in zipped NetCDF format and CSDGM FGDC-compliant metadata.
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 13-Oct-2021
Metadata author:
PCMSC Science Data Coordinator
U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
2885 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA
United States

831-427-4747 (voice)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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