National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

Sumatra tsunami: lessons from modeling

Arcas, D., and V. Titov

Surv. Geophys., 27(6), 679–705, doi: 10.1007/s10712-006-9012-5 (2006)

The need for the combination of seismic data with real-time wave height information for an effective prediction of tsunami impact is emphasized in the paper. A preliminary, but comprehensive study of arrival times, wave heights and run-up values at a number of locations and tide gage stations throughout the Indian Ocean seaboard is presented. Open ocean wave height data from satellite observations are analyzed and used in the reconstruction of a tsunami source mechanism for the December 26, 2004 event. The reconstructed source is then used to numerically estimate tsunami impact along the Indian Ocean seaboard, including wave height, and arrival times at 12 tide gage stations, and inundation at 3 locations on the coast of India. The December 2004, as well as the March 28, 2005 tsunamis are investigated and their differences in terms of tsunami generation are analyzed and presented as a clear example of the need for both, seismic and real-time tsunami data for a reliable tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean.

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