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GEOREF RECORD

Geological effects of tsunami on mid-ocean atoll islands; the Maldives before and after the Sumatran tsunami

Paul S. Kench, Roger F. McLean, Robert W. Brander, Scott L. Nichol, Scott G. Smithers, Murray R. Ford, Kevin E. Parnell and Mohamed Aslam
Geological effects of tsunami on mid-ocean atoll islands; the Maldives before and after the Sumatran tsunami
Geology (Boulder) (March 2006) 34 (3): 177-180

Abstract

Low-lying coral islands are fragile landforms susceptible to long-term sea-level rise and extreme events, such as hurricanes and tsunamis. The Sumatran earthquake of 26 December 2004 generated waves that reached the Maldives 2500 km away. Observations of the effects of the tsunami are presented here, based on pre- and post-tsunami topographic and planform surveys of 13 uninhabited Maldivian islands. The surveys showed there was no substantial island erosion and no significant reduction in island area. Rather, the tsunami accentuated predictable seasonal oscillations in shoreline change, including localized retreat of exposed island scarps by up to 6 m, deposition of cuspate spits to leeward, and vertical island building through overwash deposition of sand sheets up to 0.3 m thick, covering up to 17% of island area. These results have implications for island stability indicating that low-lying reef islands are physically robust and the geological signature of tsunamis on atoll island development is minor.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Geological effects of tsunami on mid-ocean atoll islands; the Maldives before and after the Sumatran tsunami
Affiliation: University of Auckland, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Auckland, New Zealand
Pages: 177-180
Published: 200603
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 15
Accession Number: 2006-028128
Categories: Geomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2006033
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
S01°00'00" - N07°19'60", E72°00'00" - E74°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of New South Wales, AUS, AustraliaJames Cook University, AUS, AustraliaMinistry of Environment and Construction, MDV, Maldives
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200615
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