The Sumatra Earthquake of December 26, 2004

USGS press release on comparison of the M9.0 event of December, 2004, and the M8.7 in March, 2005.

Aftershocks during the first 24 hours indicate the extent of the rupture.

Paper by John Mutter on the relationship between global poverty and hazard vulnerability.  This is just the first page of the paper.  For the full paper, see EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Volume 86,  Number 16,  19 April 2005.

Excellent PowerPoint presentation from Larry Braile
(Original source of this and other educational materials: )

Slide from Larry Braile's PowerPoint showing relationship between tsunami wave length, speed, and water depth.

Seth Stein's PowerPoint presentation, which is referenced on this page: Geology Summary of Sumatra Earthquake

Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2005, Chronicle of a Disaster.

The Tsunami

Initial findings from two US Geological Survey scientists, Dr. Bruce Jaffe and Dr. Robert Morton, who were members of a Sri Lanka International Tsunami Survey Team (ITST) that collected data to improve the understanding of the tsunami there

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) response to the tsunami.

From : "Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology tsunami animation. Each frame is a ten-minute interval; the whole thing covers the first 180 minutes of the tsunami. It's a vivid demonstration of how long it takes for a tsunami to travel -- and why early warning systems can be so valuable."

University of Alaska, Fairbanks, animation of the runup of a tsunami (requires QuickTime viewer).


Surface waves traveling twice around the globe.
Highter-resolution PDF image of surface waves.

Seismograms from educational stations.

Global Effects

Did the length of day change due to this event?  Yes but the change may be undetectable.

National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Educational Links


I visited the Science Museum of Minnesota in October, 2004, an played with the settings on their  wave tank.  Even when I created a gentle slope of the "offshore" area, I didn't see an increase in wave height as the waves approached the shore.  I wonder why?

Click on picture to enlarge.