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Sri Lanka field survey after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

January 1, 2006

An International Tsunami Survey Team (ITST) consisting of scientists from the United States, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka evaluated the impacts of the 26 December 2004 transoceanic tsunami in Sri Lanka two weeks after the event. Tsunami runup height, inundation distance, morphological changes, and sedimentary characteristics of deposits were recorded and analyzed along the southwest and east coasts of the country. Preliminary results show how local topography and bathymetry controlled the limits of inundation and associated damage to the infrastructure. The largest wave height of 8.71 m was recorded at Nonagama, while the greatest inundation distance of 390 m and runup height of 12.50 m was at Yala. At some sites, human alterations to the landscape increased the damage caused by the tsunami; this was particularly evident in areas of coral poaching and of sand dune removal.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2006
Title Sri Lanka field survey after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
DOI 10.1193/1.2205897
Authors James Goff, Philip L-F. Liu, Bretwood Higman, Robert Morton, Bruce E. Jaffe, Haindra Fernando, Patrick Lynett, Hermann Fritz, Costas Synolakis, Starin Fernando
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Series Number
Index ID 70129678
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program