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Outreach

New USGS Web Sites About 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami


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photograph of tsunami cleanup
Above: This photograph from the new Web site about fieldwork in Sri Lanka demonstrates the importance of collecting data soon after the tsunami (cleanup operations had already redistributed some of the sediment and removed some of the debris that the survey team in Sri Lanka might have used to gather information about the tsunami). [larger version]

Recently posted World Wide Web sites present some of the results of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

"The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Initial Findings on Tsunami Sand Deposits, Damage, and Inundation in Sri Lanka" presents initial findings from USGS scientists Bruce Jaffe (Santa Cruz, CA) and Robert Morton (St. Petersburg, FL), who were members of a Sri Lanka International Tsunami Survey Team (ITST) that collected data from January 9-14, 2005, to improve the understanding of the December 26, 2004, tsunami (see related Sound Waves article, USGS Scientists Study Sediment Deposited by 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami). The primary goal of the Sri Lanka ITST was to assist Sri Lanka through the team's scientific expertise, especially in developing new techniques for disaster mitigation and prediction. In addition to describing the team's initial findings, the Web site offers clear explanations of common terms in tsunami science, the methods used to gather data during post-tsunami surveys, and the importance of the types of data the team collected. It includes photographs from about a dozen of the areas where Jaffe and Morton took measurements to document the tsunami and the sand it deposited onshore.

"Tsunami Generation from the 2004 M=9.0 Sumatra Earthquake" presents an overview of the earthquake that triggered the tsunami, seismological aspects of tsunami generation, and a visual simulation of the recent tsunami's generation and propagation created by USGS scientist Eric Geist. The site describes the tectonic setting where the tsunami-generating earthquake occurred, explains how earthquake characteristics affect a tsunami's intensity, compares the recent earthquake with other tsunami-generating earthquakes, and briefly discusses the techniques and assumptions used to create computer models of the tsunami. Computer models are important tools used to predict tsunami intensity, both for short-term emergency notification and for long-term coastal-zone planning. Three animations of the Indian Ocean tsunami can be viewed on the site: one near the epicenter off northern Sumatra showing the first 33 minutes of propagation, a second showing the first 66 minutes of propagation across the Bay of Bengal from a view looking northwestward, and a third showing propagation across the Bay of Bengal from a view looking southeastward.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Scientists Study Sediment Deposited by 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
February 2005
Indian Ocean Earthquake Triggers Deadly Tsunami
Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005
Could It Happen Here?
Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005
Group Aims to Distinguish Tsunami Deposits from Large-Storm Deposits in the Geologic Record
October 2002

Related Web Sites
The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Initial Findings on Tsunami Sand Deposits, Damage, and Inundation in Sri Lanka
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Tsunami Generation from the 2004 M=9.0 Sumatra Earthquake
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Western Coastal and Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Santa Cruz & Menlo Park, CA

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Updated April 15, 2014 @ 01:53 PM (JSS)