- Open Access
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Tsunami source model from satellite altimetry
© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. 2006
- Received: 8 July 2005
- Accepted: 21 October 2005
- Published: 17 February 2006
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.