Locating the Tohoku-Oki 2011 tsunami source using acoustic-gravity waves
The giant Tohoku-Oki earthquake of 11 March 2011 in offshore Japan did not only generate tsunami waves in the ocean but also infrasound (or acoustic-gravity) waves in the atmosphere. We indentified ultra-long-period signals (>500s) in the recordings of infrasound stations in northeast Asia, the northwest Pacific, and Alaska. Their source was fond close to the earthquake epicenter. Therefore, we conclude that in general, infrasound observations after a large offshore earthquake are evidence that the surface and the floor of the sea have been significantly vertically displaced by the earthquake and that a tsunami must be expected. Since infrasound is traveling faster than the tsunami, such information may be used for tsunami early warnings.