Subsurface Images Shed Light on Past Tsunamis in India



The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused massive devastation and left a lasting impact along many of the major coastal regions in South Asia, including the coast of Tamil Nadu, a state in the southeastern tip of India. Following the event, sand deposits draped the low-lying areas and buried the muddy sediments of the coastal plain [Babu et al., 2007; Srinivasalu et al., 2007]. In addition, erosional features related to the tsunami, such as channels and scarps, have been observed along many parts of the coast (Figure 1a). This tsunami, along with a recorded history of intense monsoons, has highlighted the need for focused research on the role of extreme events in shaping the geological character of India's coastal plains.