Die entwicklung der tsunamiforschung nach der katastrophe vom 26. Dezember 2004

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Scheffers, A, Kelletat, D & Engel, M 2009, 'Die entwicklung der tsunamiforschung nach der katastrophe vom 26. Dezember 2004', Geographische Rundschau, vol. 61, no. 12, pp. 12-18.


The Indian Ocean Tsunami or Sumatra-Andaman Tsunami of December 26, 2004, is said to be the most disastrous tsunami in human history. This most probably is correct regarding the number of fatalities (definitely many more than the official number of 225,000), but certainly wrong in respect of geomorphologic and se-dimentologic processes along the affected coastlines. This can be concluded by comparing with well studied and dated palaeo-tsunamis worldwide. The Sumatra-Andaman Tsunami has triggered tsunami research with the presentation of many open questions. Too often it is used as the typical example for a strong tsunami and its signatures in the geological record. However, due to its low velocity, this certainly is incorrect. In this paper, the Sumatra-Andaman Tsunami of 2004 is put in the frame of other tsunamis of the years 2000 to 2007 worldwide, and the state of the art of geomorphologic and sedimentologic tsunami research. In addition, the most important fields for future work are pointed out.

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