Flooding of coastal areas can however also occur when it is least expected during calm weather due to a phenomenon known as the 'Milgħuba', often referred to as a meteo tsunami, consisting of large and rapid sea level fluctuations occurring over a span of a few minutes and triggered in such cases by atmospheric gravity waves. Besides these transient phenomena, sea level monitoring is also important to assess climatic changes, but with a firm commitment to long-term data acquisition.
The measuring device consists of an Inexpensive Device for Sea Level (IDSL) mounted above the sea, measuring the distance of the air gap from the sea by means of a microwave sensor. Data logging is made by a Raspberry Pi computer with a sampling interval is 15 s, and data transmission by GSM every minute to a server where it is stored, quality controlled, and prepared for online visualisation. The station is powered by a solar panel, and batteries that can provide an autonomy of seven days.
More information on the research activities is available at www.capemalta.net.