Reconstruction of Tsunami Inland Propagation on December 26, 2004 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, through Field Investigations
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This paper presents the results from an extensive field data collection effort following the December 26, 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Banda Aceh, Sumatra. The data were collected under the auspices of TSUNARISQUE, a joint French-Indonesian program dedicated to tsunami research and hazard mitigation, which has been active since before the 2004 event. In total, data from three months of field investigations are presented, which detail important aspects of the tsunami inundation dynamics in Banda Aceh. These include measurements of runup, tsunami wave heights, flow depths, flow directions, event chronology and building damage patterns. The result is a series of detailed inundation maps of the northern and western coasts of Sumatra including Banda Aceh and Lhok Nga.
Among the more important findings, we obtained consistent accounts that approximately ten separate waves affected the region after the earthquake; this indicates a high-frequency component of the tsunami wave energy in the extreme near-field. The largest tsunami wave heights were on the order of 35 m with a maximum runup height of 51 m. This value is the highest runup value measured in human history for a seismically generated tsunami. In addition, our field investigations show a significant discontinuity in the tsunami wave heights and flow depths along a line approximately 3 km inland, which the authors interpret to be the location of the collapse of the main tsunami bore caused by sudden energy dissipation. The propagating bore looked like a breaking wave from the landward side although it has distinct characteristics. Patterns of building damage are related to the location of the propagating bore with overall less damage to buildings beyond the line where the bore collapsed. This data set was built to be of use to the tsunami community for the purposes of calibrating and improving existing tsunami inundation models, especially in the analysis of extreme near-field events.
KeywordsTsunami runup tsunami bore inundation intensity scale building damage
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