Link to USGS home page Link to USGS Home Page Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Tsunamis and Earthquakes

The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Initial Findings on Tsunami Sand Deposits, Damage, and Inundation in Sri Lanka

Tsunami Sand Deposits

previous next

All images are between 123 kb and 292 kb

Tsunami sand deposit at Nalaveli Hotel. The sand deposited by the tsunami is light colored and overlies a pre-tsunami darker sandy soil. This tsunami deposit is approximately 15 cm thick and composed of three thick layers defined by darker areas (heavy mineral layers) and sub-layers that are visible near the surface. Grain size analysis in the lab will be used to determine whether the deposit was formed by three or more waves. A numerical model (Jaffe and Gelfenbaum, 2002) will be run using the field and lab data to estimate tsunami flow velocity at this location. Figure courtesy of Bretwood Higman, University of Washington.

Photo of sand deposit

contact Bruce Jaffe
last modified 2005