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Published October 6, 2010 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Coral evidence for earthquake recurrence and an A.D. 1390–1455 cluster at the south end of the 2004 Aceh–Andaman rupture


Coral records of relative sea level change provide a history of vertical interseismic and coseismic deformation along the coast of northern Simeulue Island, Sumatra, and reveal details about earthquakes in the 10th and 14th–15th centuries A.D. along the southern end of the December 2004 M_w 9.2 Sunda megathrust rupture. Over a 56 year period between A.D. 1390 and 1455, northern Simeulue experienced a cluster of megathrust ruptures, associated with total uplift that was considerably more than in 2004. Uplifted corals at two sites constrain the first event of the cluster to A.D. 1393 ± 3 and 1394 ± 2 (2σ). A smaller but well-substantiated uplift occurred in northern Simeulue in 1430 ± 3. An inferred third uplift, in A.D. 1450 ± 3, killed all corals on the reef flats of northern Simeulue. The amount of uplift during this third event, though confirmed only to have exceeded 28 and 41 cm at two sites, probably surpassed the 100 and 44 cm that occurred, respectively, at those sites in 2004, and it was likely more than in 2004 over all of northern Simeulue. The evidence for past earthquake clustering combined with the inference of considerably greater uplift in A.D. 1390–1455 than in 2004 suggests that strain may still be stored along the southernmost part of the 2004 rupture. Interseismic subsidence rates recorded by northern Simeulue coral microatolls have varied by up to a factor of 4 at some sites from one earthquake cycle to another.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Geophysical Union. Received 26 February 2010; revised 12 May 2010; accepted 2 June 2010; published 6 October 2010. We thank D. Prayudi and I. Suprihanto for field support; S. Bradley for model results and J. Genrich for processed SuGAr GPS data; M. Simons, B. Horton, J. Patton, C. Wunsch, V. Zlotnicki, A. Reid, E. McKinnon, and N. Hananto for helpful discussions; and J.‐P. Avouac, K. Monecke, A. Crone, G. Hayes, B. Atwater, and an anonymous reviewer for constructive reviews that contributed to a substantially improved final manuscript. We gratefully acknowledge the use of altimeter products produced by SSALTO/DUACS and distributed by AVISO, with support from CNES. This work has been supported by NSF grant EAR-0538333 (to K. S.); by Taiwan National Science Council grants 96-2752-M-002-012-PAE, 98-2116-M-002-006 and 98-2661-M-002-012 (to C.-C. S.); by LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Science) and RUTI (International Joint Research Program of the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology); by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and by the Earth Observatory of Singapore. This is Caltech Tectonics Observatory contribution 128 and Earth Observatory of Singapore contribution 6. Isotopic measurements were performed on a multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC‐ICP‐MS) Thermo NEPTUNE in the High‐precision Mass Spectrometry and Environment Change Laboratory (HISPEC), Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University. An annotated high‐resolution X‐ray mosaic of each coral cross section described in this paper is provided in the electronic supplement of A. Meltzner's Ph.D. thesis [Meltzner, 2010], along with a selection of field and aerial photos.

Attached Files

Published - Meltzner_JGR_Coral2010.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-readme.txt

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-ts01.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-ts02.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-ts03.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-ts04.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-ts05.pdf

Supplemental Material - 2010jb007499-txts01.pdf


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