NASA JPL scientists and researchers from the Ohio State University used satellite altimeter data that had recorded sea levels changes to within an accuracy of a few centimeters following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake to confirm this hypothesis.
Sea level changes from the satellite data following the Tōhoku tsunami were verified with results from GPS sensors and buoy data recorded by NOAA's DART program.
|(1)||Wave peaks are shown in reddish-brown.|
|(2)||Seafloor depressions are depicted in bluish-green.|
|(3)||Mid-ocean ridges, peaks, and islands are depicted as grayscale outlines.|
The simulation above, created from the 2011 satellite data, shows refraction, bending, and merging of waves as they propagate thousands of miles.
Source: The Seafloor Focuses and Merges Tsunami Waves published March 12, 2012 by NASA Earth Observatory.