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Tsunami-Quake Was Caused By Crack In Earth’s Crust

Tsunami-Quake Was Caused By Crack In Earth’s Crust

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland

Study is based on data of 60 GPS-stations in South East Asia

The devastating Tsunami on Boxing Day in the Indian Ocean caused up to 300,000 deaths is believed to have been caused by a 1000 kilometre-long break of the earth’s crust. The earth plates had edged on the sea ground against each other, reported geologist Christophe Vigny from the research institute CNRS in Paris in the magazine “Nature”.

First estimations anticipated a crack of a length of 500 to 600 kilometres.

Vigny’s study is based on data of about 60 GPS-stations in South East Asia, that cover a distance of 400 to 3000 kilometres from the quake's epicentre. The GPS stations show the movement of the earth’s crust at their location. Only ten minutes after the quake they displayed major shifts in Thailand, report the scientists. The tourist island Phuket had hustled 27 centimetres north, the Malayan island Langkawi 15 centimetres.

At the rupture zone along the coasts of Sumatra and Thailand the Indian-Australian Plate is dipping under the Asian Plate with a speed of up to five centimetres per year.

The quake of December 26 2004 was caused by a northern movement also due to a lifting of the Asian Plate’s edge by 10 metres. The epicentre of the quake with the intensity of 9.0 was in front of Sumatra.

Analysis of the coral riffs show there were earlier severe sea quakes in the region, only a few hundred kilometres south of the Boxing Day epicentre, in 1833 and 1861.


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