Natural Hazards

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 1167–1188 | Cite as

Debris dispersal modeling for the great Sumatra Tsunamis on Banda Aceh and surrounding waters

  • Gegar PrasetyaEmail author
  • Kerry Black
  • Willem de Lange
  • Jose Borrero
  • Terry Healy
Original Paper


The Great Sumatra Tsunami on 26 December 2004 generated large amounts of debris and waste throughout the affected coastal region in the Indian Ocean. In Banda Aceh—Indonesia, the tsunami flows were observed carrying a thick muddy sludge that mixed with all kinds of debris from the destroyed buildings, bridges and culverts, vehicles, fallen trees, and other flotsam. This waste and debris was mostly deposited inland, but traveled both onshore and offshore. Numerical dispersal modeling is carried out to simulate the transport of debris and waste produced by the tsunamis during the event. The model solves the Lagrangian form of the transport/dispersion equations using novel particle tracking techniques. Model results show that understanding the pathway and distribution of the suspended materials and flotsam caused by tsunamis is important for a proper hazards mitigation plan and waste management action, and to minimize serious long-term adverse environmental and natural resources consequences.


Tsunami Banda Aceh Debris and waste Dispersal model 



The authors wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for a critical review and valuable inputs and comments that improved the manuscript considerably. The numerical model research work had been funded through NZIDRS, New Zealand and the fieldwork funded partly by Tsunami Research Foundation—Indonesia, USGS—NOAA on ITST 1-2. Thanks to Dr. Umitsu for permission to utilize the material for Figs. 1 and 13c, Drs. Rahman Hidayat, Dinar C Istiyanto, Widjo Kongko, Lukianto and all ITST Sumatra 2004 team for providing the fieldwork data. Dedicated to the memory of Professor Terry Healy.


  1. Black KP (1996) Lagrangian dispersal and sediment transport model and support software. Occasional report no. 20. Department of Earth Sciences. University of Waikato and NIWA, Hamilton, New Zealand, 60 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Black KP (2001) The 3DD suite of numerical process model—a digital manual. ASR Ltd. PO Box 67, Raglan, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  3. Borrero JC, Bosserelle C, Prasetya G, Black KP (2007) Using 3DD to model tsunami inundation. In: Proceedings of the Australasian Coast and Port Conference 2007, July 2007, Melbourne Australia, Paper 96, 6 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Buckley ML, Wei Y, Jaffe BE, Watt SG (2011) Inverse modelling of velocities and inferred cause of overwash that emplaced inland field of boulders at Anegada, British Virgin Island. Nat Hazards. doi: 10.1007/s11069-011-9725-8
  5. Gomez-Gesteira M, Montero P, Prego R, Taboada JJ, Leitao P, Ruiz-Villarreal M, Neves R, Perez-Villar V (1998) A two dimensional particle tracking model for pollution dispersion in A Coruna and Vigo Rias (NW Spain). Oceanol Acta 22:167–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Iwabuchi Y, Imamura F (2005) Study on the oil spread and fire caused by a tsunami. In: Proceedings of the third international conference on Asian and Pacific Coasts Asian and Pacific Coasts 2005, pp 471–474Google Scholar
  7. Jaffe BE, Borrero C, Prasetya JC, Peters GS, McAdoo P, Gelfenbaum B, Morton G, Ruggiero R, Higman P, Dengler B, Hidayat L, Kingsley R, Widjo E, Kongko L, Moore A, Titov V, Yulianto E (2006) The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Northwest Sumatra and offshore islands. Earthq Spectra (special issue III) 22:105–135Google Scholar
  8. James ID (2002) Modelling pollution dispersion, the ecosystem and water quality in coastal waters: a review. Environ Model Softw 17:363–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kashefipour SM, Lin B, Harris E, Falconer RA (2002) Hydro-environmental modeling for bathing water compliance of an estuarine basin. Water Res 36:1854–1868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pilapitiya S, Vidanaarachchi C, Yue S (2006) Effects of the tsunami on waste management in Sri Lanka, Guest editorial. Waste Manage 26:107–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Prasetya GS, Healy TR, DeLange WP, Black KP (2008) Extreme tsunami run-up and inundation flows at Banda Aceh, Indonesia: are there any solutions to this type of coastal disaster? Am Soc Civil Eng 14–28Google Scholar
  12. Prasetya GS, Borrero JC, DeLange WP, Black KP, Healy TR (2011) Modelling of inundation dynamic on Banda Aceh, Indonesia during the great Sumatra Tsunamis 26 December 2004. J Nat Hazard. doi: 10.1007/s11069-010-9710-7
  13. Spaling H, Vroom B (2007) Environmental assessment after the 2004 tsunami: a case study, lessons and prospects. Impact Asssess Proj Apprais 25(1):43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Umitsu M, Tanavud Ch, Patanakanog B (2007) Effects of landforms on tsunami flow in the plains of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and Nam Khem, Thailand. Marine Geol 242:141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) (2005) After the tsunami: rapid environmental assessment, 35 pGoogle Scholar
  16. USAID (2005) Aceh assessment report. Environmental Service Program, 31 pGoogle Scholar
  17. Van Dijk S (2005) Environmental impact assessment tsunami Indonesia. UNDAC environmental impact assessment, Banda Aceh, 17 pGoogle Scholar
  18. Yalciner AC, Perincek D, Ersoy S, Prasetya G, Hidayat R, McAdoo BG (2005) Report on December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean Tsunami, Field Survey on 21–31 Jan at North of Sumatra, ITST of UNESCO IOC, 18 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gegar Prasetya
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Kerry Black
    • 2
  • Willem de Lange
    • 1
  • Jose Borrero
    • 3
  • Terry Healy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Heaven on the PlanetLombokIndonesia
  3. 3.ASR Ltd, Marine Consulting and ResearchRaglanNew Zealand
  4. 4.GNS ScienceLower HuttNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations