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Title: Tsunamis of the northeast Indian Ocean with a particular focus on the Bay of Bengal region - a synthesis and review
Authors: Alam, E
Dominey-Howes, D
Chagué-Goff, C
Goff, JR
Keywords: Tsunamis
Indian Ocean
New Zealand
Historical aspects
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2012
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Citation: Alam, E., Dominey-Howes, D., Chagué-Goff, C., & Goff, J. (2012). Tsunamis of the northeast Indian Ocean with a particular focus on the Bay of Bengal region - a synthesis and review. Earth-Science Reviews, 114(1-2), 175-193. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2012.05.002
Abstract: The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004 IOT) challenged assumptions about the level of regional hazard. Significantly, there has been some debate about the hypothesis that the northern Bay of Bengal may be capable of generating large tsunamis similar to the 2004 IOT. To test this hypothesis, we documented historical and palaeotsunamis in the northeast Indian Ocean. Using multiple sources, we identified 135 purported tsunamis. After completing a process of validity assessment, we categorised 31 definite tsunamis, 27 probable tsunamis, 51 doubtful tsunamis and 20 events that only caused a seiche or disturbance in an inland river. Six of the purported events were identified as either cyclones or earthquakes without any associated tsunamis. Using the reported list of 135 events, we identified different tsunamigenic regions and explored the temporal distribution of past events, with the oldest event dated to around 38,000BC (although the dated material is most likely reworked and this was probably a Holocene event). The second oldest event dated to 3000-2000BC. Historical records indicate that only one definite tsunami, occurring in AD1762, was generated in the northern Bay of Bengal. We encountered a number of significant challenges in reviewing and analysing data contained within the documents and sources we consulted. Statistical analysis of tsunami data from AD1710 to AD2010 suggests that the occurrence of a tsunami affecting the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar is 0.99% in any given year, and 63% in a century. We recognise that this incomplete tsunami dataset limits the capacity to fully quantify the hazard. As such, we recommend further 'deep' archival research coupled with regional palaeotsunami studies to gain a more sophisticated understanding of the hazard. © 2012, Elsevier Ltd.
Gov't Doc #: 4674
ISSN: 0012-8252
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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