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The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami deposited an extensive sandsheet on the coastal plain of SE India. At particular sites, the sedimentary bedding in the sandsheet provides evidence of variable energy conditions and flow during inundation of the coast. Trenching of the deposits at sites where only unidirectional flow was observed allowed the investigation of changes in hydrodynamics recorded in bedding structures without the added complexity of return flows and reworking. A high-velocity initial surge is recorded as upper flow regime (UFR) plane bedding. Following the initial high flow a period of falling flow velocity and quiescence occurs where sediments settle out of suspension, often resulting in a reverse graded bed that transitions to a graded (fining-up) bed. As water levels begin to decline after maximum inundation sheet flow caused the formation of inversely graded (coarsening-up) beds or a return to UFR conditions. At one site the final stages of tsunami inundation is recorded as small channels that have an erosional base and are filled with graded sediments that exhibit complex patterns of sedimentation. Pits excavated in areas of unidirectional flow allow the development of a sedimentary model for tsunami sediment dynamics across flat topography under unidirectional flow conditions.

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