The goal of this study is to investigate the spatial variability of the seismic radiation spectral content of the Sumatra–Andaman 2004 earthquake. We determine the integral estimates of source geometry, duration and rupture propagation given by the stress glut moments of total degree 2 of different source models. These models are constructed from a single or a joint use of different observations including seismology, geodesy, altimetry and tide gauge data. The comparative analysis shows coherency among the different models and no strong contradictions are found between the integral estimates of geodetic and altimetric models, and those retrieved from very long period seismic records (up to 2000–3000 s). The comparison between these results and the integral estimates derived from observed surface wave spectra in period band from 500 to 650 s suggests that the northern part of the fault (to the north of 8°N near Nicobar Islands) did not radiate long period seismic waves, that is, period shorter than 650 s at least. This conclusion is consistent with the existing composite short and long rise time tsunami model: with short rise time of slip in the southern part of the fault and very long rise time of slip at the northern part. This complex space-time slip evolution can be reproduced by a simple dynamic model of the rupture assuming a crude phenomenological mechanical behaviour of the rupture interface at the fault scales combining an effective slip-controlled exponential weakening effect, related to possible friction and damage breakdown processes of the fault zone, and an effective linear viscous strengthening effect, related to possible interface lubrication processes. While the rupture front speed remains unperturbed with initial short slip duration, a slow creep wave propagates behind the rupture front in the case of viscous effects accounting for the long slip duration and the radiation characteristics in the northern segment.