Skip to main content


Outline of vertical displacement of the 2004 and 2005 Sumatra earthquakes revealed by satellite radar imagery

Article metrics

  • 484 Accesses

  • 32 Citations


Analyses of satellite radar imagery before and after the 2004 and 2005 Sumatra earthquakes reveal an overview of the uplift and submergence pattern of islands along the subduction zone and provide an outline of the regions that experienced coseismic vertical deformation. We find evidence of crustal deformation from the northern tip of the Andaman Islands to Nias Island. A line 145 km east of the trench separates western uplifted zone from eastern subsided zone. Agreement with the field observation demonstrates the feasibility of our method. We find that radar imagery analysis is more efficient for investigating vertical displacements than similar techniques using optical sensors.


  1. Banerjee, P., F. F. Pollitz, and R. Bürgmann, The size and duration of the Fig. 5. Uplift and subsidence caused by the 2004 and 2005 (in the green oval) Sumatra earthquakes extracted from satellite SAR images. The orange line 145 km east of the trench was drawn using GIS. Sumatra-Andaman earthquake from far-field static offsets, Science, 308, 1769–1772, 2005.

  2. Ishii, M., P. M. Shearer, H. Houston, and J. E. Vidale, Extent, duration and speed of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake imaged by the Hi-Net array, Nature, 435, 933–936, doi:10.1038/nature03675, 2005.

  3. Krüger, F. and M. Ohrnberger, Tracking the rupture of the Mw=9.3 Sumatra earthquake over 1,150 km at teleseismic distance, Nature, 435, 937–939, doi:10.1038/nature03696, 2005.

  4. Meltzner, A. J., K. Sieh, M. Abrams, D. C. Agnew, K. W. Hudnut, J. P. Avouac, and D. H. Natawidjaja, Uplift and Subsidence Associated with the Great Aceh-Andaman Earthquake of 2004, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10. 1029/2005JB003891, 2006.

  5. Ni, S., H. Kanamori, and D. Helmberger, Energy radiation from the Sumatra earthquake, Nature, 434, 582, 2005.

  6. Sieh, K., S. N. Ward, D. Natawidjaja, and B. W. Suwargadi, Crustal deformation at the Sumatran subduction zone revealed by coral rings, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 3141–3144, 1999.

  7. Vigny, C., W. J. Simons, S. Abu, R. Bamphenyu, C. Satirapod, N. Choosakul, C. Subarya, A. Socquet, K. Omar, H. Z. Abidin, and B. A. Ambrosius, Insight into the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake from GPS measurements in southeast Asia, Nature, 436, 201–206, 2005.

  8. Zachariasen, J., K. Sieh, F. W. Taylor, and W. S. Hantoro, Modern vertical deformation above the Sumatran subduction zone: paleogeodetic insights from coral microatolls, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 90, 897–913, 2000.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Mikio Tobita.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tobita, M., Suito, H., Imakiire, T. et al. Outline of vertical displacement of the 2004 and 2005 Sumatra earthquakes revealed by satellite radar imagery. Earth Planet Sp 58, e1–e4 (2006) doi:10.1186/BF03351906

Download citation

Key words

  • Sumatra
  • SAR
  • satellite
  • emergence
  • subsidence
  • tsunami