Geomorphology of Deposits from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Tamil Nadu, Southeastern India

Patrick Alan Johnston
April 2013


In low latitudes, geologically suitable repositories for tsunami deposits are not well defined. This project characterizes the geomorphic environments on the southeastern coast of India that preserved depositional evidence of the catastrophic tsunami created by the Mw9.0-9.3 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake on December 26, 2004. The Indian coast is particularly interesting because it is approximately 1300 km from the subduction-zone source of tsunamis across the Indian Ocean, and therefore only the largest events are capable of reaching it. The main objective of this study was to identify the settings where recognizable tsunami deposits from the 2004 event have been preferentially preserved in the stratigraphic record until 2008. These results will be useful in future attempts to discover and identify paleotsunami deposits in the geological record from India, and elsewhere.

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