Observations and Modeling of Environmental and Human Damage Caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Kazuhisa Goto, Fumihiko Imamura, Shunichi Koshimura, Hideaki Yanagisawa

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter have specifically introduced our studies of local inundation of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and show how to quantitatively estimate tsunami damage based on field observations, satellite image analyses, and high-resolution numerical modeling results. We investigated damage to coastal morphology, marine ecosystems, and mangroves at Pakarang Cape, Thailand, and to structures, humans, and mangroves at Banda Aceh city, Indonesia. We produced 17 and 23 m grid digital bathymetric/topographic datasets, respectively for those areas, with grid cell resolutions sufficiently fine for comparison with field observation data. From these datasets, we produced a nested grid system spanning the Indian Ocean to the Pakarang Cape coast and Banda Aceh city and calculated tsunami inundation. Such high-resolution numerical modeling is useful to elucidate processes of (1) local tsunami inundation, (2) damage generation, and (3) quantitative damage associated with tsunami hydrodynamics: flow depth, hydraulic force, and current velocity. We clarified that the occurrence of substantial morphological change, especially the deposition of huge boulders, was dependent upon the initial wave form and coastal profile. This fundamental idea is also applicable to the damage incurred by the coral communities. Fragility functions of mangroves, structures, and tsunami casualties estimated in our studies enable us to express the relation between the damage and hydrodynamic features of the tsunami inundation flow, quantitatively. Such quantitative damage estimation based on lessons from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is an important step for tsunami-risk assessment for high-risk countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationExtreme Events
    Subtitle of host publicationObservations, Modeling, and Economics
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781119157052
    ISBN (Print)9781119157014
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 2


    • 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
    • Banda Aceh City
    • Numerical model
    • Pakarang Cape coast
    • Tsunami hydrodynamics
    • Tsunami inundation processes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


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