Researchers uncover 2004 tsunami predecessor

Researchers uncover 2004 tsunami predecessor

Researchers uncover 2004 tsunami predecessor

Posted 30 October 2008, 14:20 AEDT

Scientists have discovered that a mega-tsunami struck south-east Asia 700 years ago rivalling the one in 2004.

Two teams of geologists say they found the evidence in sedimentary deposits in coastal marshes.

Researchers in Thailand and Indonesia wrote in two articles in Nature magazine, that the tsunami hit around 1400, long before historical records of earthquakes in the region began.

The two teams pored over coastal areas in Indonesia and Thailand, seeking sheets of sand that had been deposited in past tsunamis but had been left undisturbed by wind, rivers, storms, animals or humans.

They found the sedimentary treasure by drilling core samples in "swales," or dips between beach ridges, that are filled with peaty marsh.

The Indonesian site is around two kilometres inland north of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh.

The Thai location is at Phra Thong Island, 124 kilometres north of the resort of Phuket.

Both places were hit by the 2004 tsunami.