Over the past decade, the idea of quantitatively relating observations made of the earth’s ionosphere to tsunami and large seismic events has gone from a far-fetched dream to one having significant potential for both understanding the vertical coupling of the earth’s surface with the atmosphere and as a monitoring tool for these devastating events. This progress is rooted in the increased capabilities provided by a variety of observational modalities, most notably ground- and space-borne global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers and airglow imaging systems, which provided definitive evidence of the efficient upward coupling for the 2011 Tohoku and 2012 Haida Gwaii events. To study the details of the generated gravity waves and their coupling into the ionosphere, several models have been developed.

During the first session of the proposed ISSI workshop, we would bring together the authors of these different models to discuss the assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses of each model. Experimentalists would participate in the workshop to provide observational benchmarks. We would expect this session to result in an action plan on how to improve the models and spark discussion on what types of observations are required to further test and validate them. In the second session, the team would reconvene and use the improved models to plan and develop future observational capabilities. These might include deploying existing instrumentation to new, advantageous locations or the development of new observing methods, including from space, to provide novel measurements of important parameters identified in the models. In addition, during this second session, we would investigate inverse methodologies so that observations of the thermosphere/ionosphere could be used to infer the properties of the underlying tsunami. In this way, we would move beyond cause and effect of the phenomenology to turning observables around to produce actionable information for the public