Sedimentologic and geomorphologic tsunami imprints worldwide: a review

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Scheffers, A & Kelletat, D 2003, ‘Sedimentologic and geomorphologic tsunami imprints worldwide: a review’, Earth Science Reviews, vol. 63, no. 1-2, pp. 83-92.

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Tsunami events with extreme effects on sedimentary transport or considerable alterations of the coastal configuration are rather rare regarding human history, but considering geological timescales they occur frequently. At least 100 megatsunami in different parts of the world have been recorded in the past 2000 years—but presumably far more have failed to be noticed during historical times and are not mentioned either in written or oral ancient records. Therefore, the topic of paleotsunami requires inevitable sedimentological and geomorphological research. However, field research concerning paleotsunami is astonishingly rare within the scientific approach and only 5% of the existing tsunami literature is related to this subject. Future efforts in paleotsunami research should focus on the geological evidence of these mega-events to clarify their contribution to coastal forming processes. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art knowledge of sedimentologic and geomorphic imprints of tsunami along the world's coastlines in order to highlight the need for more detailed studies of paleotsunami depositional and geomorphological traces.

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