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Startpage > News > Online Spotlights > Tsunamis

Recent Investigations Produce Surprising Evidence about
Historical Tsunamis

Young Scientist at Leibniz Universität Hannover Publishes Study in International Journal NATURE

Grafik: Tsunamiwelle M.Sc. Widjo Kongko, PhD student at the Franzius Institute of Hydraulic, Waterways and Coastal Engineering, Leibniz Universität Hannover, is one of the co-authors of an article published in the renowned journal NATURE entitled "A 1,000-year sediment record of tsunami recurrence in northern Sumatra". The paper, which he wrote together with six further scientists, appeared recently in NATURE, Volume 455/30, October 2008. A video on the research can be found by following the link: www.nature.com.

In their paper, the authors report on new findings in paleo-tsunami research in the region of northern Sumatra. Using new geological measuring procedures and techniques to investigate soil structures and sediment deposits in coastal areas, they were able to establish that several tsunamis – of similar dimensions to those of 2004 – must have hit the region over the course of the centuries. In view of the fact that the coast was only sparsely populated – and in some areas not at all – there are no historical records of these tsunamis. Questions remain open about the recurrence rate of these extreme tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

The co-author of this paper, Widjo Kongko from Indonesia, who has only recently started at the Franzius Institute, is doing research for his doctorate into the analysis and simulation of tsunamis, which can arise through mass movements set off by earthquakes or local landslides. He has conducted widespread measurements for this and compiled an extensive pool of natural data. Widjo Kongko has a scholarship from the United Nations University Institute of Environmental and Human Safety, which maintains close research cooperations with the Franzius Institute.


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