Skip to main content

Advertisement

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Tsunami source model from satellite altimetry

Article metrics

  • 544 Accesses

  • 56 Citations

Abstract

Satellite altimetry measurements of sea surface heights for the first-time captured the Indian Ocean tsunami generated from the December 2004 great Sumatra earthquake. Analysis of the sea surface height profile suggests that the tsunami source, or the seafloor deformation, of the great earthquake propagated to the north at an extremely slow speed of less than 1 km/sec on average for the entire 1300-km-long segment along the northern Sumatra-Nicobar-Andaman Trench. The extremely slow propagation speed produces a very long duration of tens minutes, longer than earthquake source duration estimated (480–500 sec) from short-period P-wave radiation. The satellite altimetry data requires a total seismic moment of 9.86 × 1022 Nm (Mw=9.3). This estimate is approximately 2.5 times larger than the value from long-period surface wave analysis but nearly the same as that from the ultra-long-period normal mode study. The maximum amount of slip (30 m) is identified in an offshore region closest to the northern most part of Sumatra where the largest tsunami run-up heights were observed.

References

  1. Araki, E., M. Shinohara, K. Obana, T. Yamada, Y. Kaneda, T. Kanazawa, and K. Suyehiro, Aftershock distribution of the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake from ocean bottom seismographic observation, Earth Planets Space, 58, this issue, 113–119, 2005.

  2. Department of Ocean Development, http://dod.nic.in/tsunami.pdf, 2005.

  3. Engdahl, E. R., R. Van der Hilst, and R. Bulan, Global teleseismic earthquake relocation with improved travel times and procedures for depth determination, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 88, 722–743, 1998.

  4. Gower, J., Jason-1 detects the 26 December 2004 tsunami, EOS, trans. AGU, 86, 4, 37–38, 2005.

  5. International Tsunami Survey Team leaded by Dr. Y. Tsuji, http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/namegaya/sumatera/surveylog/eindex.htm, 2005.

  6. Ishii, M., P. M. Sharer, 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, 2005.

  7. Ji, C., http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/eq_depot/2004/eq_041226/neic_slav_ff.html, 2005.

  8. JPL/NASA, http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/jason-1.html & http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/topex.html, 2005.

  9. Kruger, F. and M. Ohrnberger, Tracking the rupture of the Mw=49.3 Sumatra earthquake over 1,150 km at teleseismic distance, Nature, 435, 937–939, 2005.

  10. Lay, T., H. Kanamori, C. J. Ammon, M. Nettles, S. N. Ward, R. C. Aster, S. L. Beck, S. L. Bilek, M. R. Brudzinski, R. Butler, H. R. DeShon, G. Ekstrom, K. Satake, and S. Sipkin, The great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of 26 December 2004, Science, 308, 1127–1133, 2005.

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

  12. Okada, Y., Surface deformation due to shear and tensile faults in a half space, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 75, 1135–1154, 1985.

  13. Satake, K., Linear and non-linear computations of the 1992 Nicaragua earthquake tsunami, Pure Appl. Geophys., 144, 455–470, 1995.

  14. Simoes, M., J. P. Avouac, R. Cattin, and P. Henry, The Sumatra subduction zone: A case for a locked fault zone extending into the mantle, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B10402, doi:10.1029/2003JB002958, 2004.

  15. Smith, W. H. F. and D. T. Sandwell, Global sea floor topography from satellite altimetry and ship depth soundings, Science, 277, 1956–1962, 1997.

  16. Stein, S. and E. Okal, Speed and size of the Sumatra earthquake, Nature, 434, 581–582, 2005.

  17. Taymaz, T, O. Tan and S. Yolsal, http://www.geop.itu.edu.tr/~taymaz/sumatra/, 2005.

  18. Titov, V., http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/s2365.htm, 2005.

  19. Tsunami Field Survey Team in Banda Aceh of Indonesia, http://www.drs.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/sumatra/indonesia-ynu/indonesia_survey_ynu_e.html, 2005.

  20. Yagi,Y.,http://iisee.kenken.go.jp/staff/yagi/eq/Sumatra2004/Sumatra2004.html, 2005.

  21. Yamanaka, Y, http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/sanchu/Seismo_Note/2004/EIC161ea.html, 2005.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Kenji Hirata.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hirata, K., Satake, K., Tanioka, Y. et al. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Tsunami source model from satellite altimetry. Earth Planet Sp 58, 195–201 (2006) doi:10.1186/BF03353378

Download citation

Key words

  • 2004 Sumatra earthquake
  • tsunami
  • source model
  • satellite
  • Indian Ocean