Archival and Discovery of March 28, 1964 Tsunami Event on Marigrams

browse graphicDigitized marigram
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information have more than 3,000 tsunami marigram (tide gauge) records in both image and paper format. The majority of these tsunami marigram records were scanned to high-resolution digital tiff images during the NOAA Climate Data Modernization Program (CDMP). There still remain shelves full of deteriorating paper records that are in need of rescue reformatting to scanned images before they are lost. The 1946 tsunami is one of four 20th century tsunami events which are historically important but data during each reside only on the marigram records. The 1946 tsunami was the impetus for establishment of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center after impact to the Hawaiian Islands. The 1952, 1960, and 1964 tsunamis were each generated by three of the greatest of all recorded earthquakes. The 1960 tsunami, in particular, was generated by the largest earthquake ever recorded, a magnitude 9.5 off the central coast of Chile. Measurements of these tsunamis are expected to provide researchers with important information linking earthquake rupture to tsunami generation and propagation characteristics. All data reformatted as part of this project will be brought into compliance with NOAA Data Directives and meet the requirements for Data Management, Discoverability, Accessibility, Documentation, Readability, and Data Preservation and Stewardship as per the Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI). BEDI is designed to promote interoperability of Earth observation data across Federal agencies, systems and platforms through the improvement of data management practices and increased discoverability, accessibility, and usability of data collections.
Download Data
Distribution Formats
  • netCDF (Version: 4)
    • File Specification: Unidata's Network Common Data Form (netCDF)
  • csv
    • File Specification: Comma Separated Values file (csv)
    • File Compression: GZIP
  • TIFF
    • File Specification: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
    • File Compression: ZIP
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information
Dataset Point of Contact DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEINational Centers for Environmental Information
Coverage Description Coastal Tide Gauge Network of the International Community
Time Period 1964-03-22T20:38:53Z to 1964-03-31T17:12:04Z (time duration: P0Y0M8DT20H33M11S)
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 59.5485
S: -46.598233
E: -139.733444
W: 168.344824
Spatial Coverage Map
Documentation links not available.
Publication Dates
  • creation: 2017-06-01
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency Data update frequency not available
Purpose To enable archive and discovery of segments of marigram records on which are recorded sea level measurements of the March 28, 1964 tsunami originating from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake at Prince William Sound, Alaska.
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information
  • DOC/NOAA/OAR/PMEL/NCTR > NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Tides
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Tides > Tidal Currents
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Tides > Tidal Heights
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Tides > Tidal Range
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Ocean Waves > Tsunamis
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Tidal Height
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Sea Surface Height
  • Earth Science > Human Dimensions > Natural Hazards > Tsunamis
  • Earth Science > Human Dimensions > Natural Hazards > Earthquakes
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • In Situ Land-Based Platforms > Ocean Platform/Ocean Stations > Coastal Stations
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • In Situ/Laboratory Instruments > Gauges > Tide Gauges
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Continent > Asia > Eastern Asia > Japan
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean
  • Continent > South America > Chile
  • Continent > North America > Canada > British Columbia
  • Continent > North America > United States of America > Alaska
  • Continent > Europe > Estern Europe > Russian Federation
  • Continent > Australia/New Zealand > New Zealand
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean > Gulf of Alaska
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > South Pacific Ocean
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean > Sea of Okhohtsk
  • Aburatsu
  • Arica
  • Campbell Island
  • Bella Bella
  • Kaien Island
  • Prince Rupert
  • Moresby Island
  • Tasu
  • Baranof Island
  • Sitka
  • Russia
  • Sakhalin Island
  • Poronaysk
  • Bluff
  • Sitka Sound
  • Sitka Harbor
  • Yakutat
  • Yakutat Bay
  • Foveaux Strait
  • Awarua Bay
  • Zaliv Terpeniya
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
Use Constraints
    Fees Fee information not available.
    Lineage information for: series
    Lineage Statement The March 28, 1964 marigrams were stored in boxes until scanned into digital data in 2016-17.
    • DOC/NOAA > Center for Tsunami Research
    Processing Steps
    • Each original marigram was a scroll of paper from which a segment of several days of time series data were scanned and stored as TIFFs, along with the Station, Scale (not always), Dates/Times of the segment (in UTC or local), and Latitude and Longitude of the Station. Marigram TIFF images were loaded into GraphClick and x,y axes were defined for 24 hour periods using the 4 known points option (coordinates at the bottom-left of the graph, bottom-right, top-left and top-right). This option was chosen over other available options to better represent images that may have had a tilted, wrinkled, warped or otherwise damaged paper record. Data points were individually added along the data curves by clicking on the center of the curved line with GraphClick recording x,y values each of those points. These x,y values were exported from GraphClick as a text file and transferred to Microsoft Excel 2016 for formatting of time, units and other general file formatting required for archival. CSV files were converted to netCDF with associated metadata. For records with curved vertical axes, one of the vertical graticules was digitized to create a table of corrections to the x axis as a function of height, and fit with a spline interpolation.
    • On any records that included periodical height/time information written on the marigram, such values were compared with the numerical values produced by GraphClick for consistency.
    • Values were compared against digital 1 hour data provided by the station operators where available.
    • Each station was checked as necessary for observance with Daylight Savings Time.
    Source Datasets
    Last Modified: 2017-06-01
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