Huge Indian Ocean tsunamis occur every 600 years

October 31st, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Oct 31 (IANS) The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which claimed more than 200,000 lives, was not the first of its kind to hit the region, according to new research. The research also suggests that such huge tsunamis occur in the Indian Ocean every 600 to 700 years. The findings could be used to put statistical weight behind estimates of the likelihood of a future tsunami.

The research team led by Karin Monecke, former post-doctoral geologist at Kent State University in Aceh, Indonesia, found that the 2004 sand sheet preceded deposits of three tsunamis from the past 1,200 years.

Another research team working independently concluded that a tsunami of similar size struck the region between 1300 and 1400 AD, according to a Kent State release.

Each team analysed more than 100 sediment cores collected during fieldwork in 2006 and 2007, and found traces of several tsunamis that may have occurred during the last 2,500 years.

However, only the medieval event, whose age was determined by radiocarbon dating of organic material in the sediment, correlated between the two studies.

These results have been published in this week’s edition of Nature.

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