Special Research Articles

The Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 26 December 2004

Science  20 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5725, pp. 1127-1133
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112250

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Abstract

The two largest earthquakes of the past 40 years ruptured a 1600-kilometer-long portion of the fault boundary between the Indo-Australian and southeastern Eurasian plates on 26 December 2004 [seismic moment magnitude (Mw) = 9.1 to 9.3] and 28 March 2005 (Mw = 8.6). The first event generated a tsunami that caused more than 283,000 deaths. Fault slip of up to 15 meters occurred near Banda Aceh, Sumatra, but to the north, along the Nicobar and Andaman Islands, rapid slip was much smaller. Tsunami and geodetic observations indicate that additional slow slip occurred in the north over a time scale of 50 minutes or longer.

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