Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 03:16 PM EST

Sediment Of The Indian Ocean Escalated The Severity Of 2004 Sumatra Earthquake, Researcher Finds

May 27, 2017 08:33 AM EDT


Scientists drilled deep into the bottom of the Indian Ocean to study the sediment of the ocean. They found that the sediment of the Indian Ocean took major part to increase the severity of the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004.

An international team of scientists started the expedition to search for the process of sediment warming at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. According to the news release from the Oregon State University, the research is a part of International Ocean Discovery Program, an international marine research collaboration to study the sediment of the Indian Ocean. The co-leader of the expedition is Lisa McNeill is an Oregon State University graduate who is now the Professor of Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton, with team members from Oregon State University and the University of Bremen in Germany.

Upon the research, the team drilled into the bottom of the ocean to study the sediment of the Indian Ocean. They found that thick layer of sediment of the sediment deposits was originated from the Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan Plateau. The team analyzed the physical and chemical properties to build the model and simulating the behavior of sediment near the subduction zone and they have published the finding in the journal Science.

"We discovered that in some areas where the sediments are especially thick, dehydration of the sediments occurred before they were subducted,” Marta Torres, the co-author of the study and geochemist at Oregon State University noted on the sediment of the Indian Ocean. "Resulting in a very large fault area that is prone to rupture and can lead to a bigger and more dangerous earthquake.”

The findings have explained the escalation of severity during the 2004 earthquake in Sumatra is tied to the sediment of the Indian Ocean. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake is recorded as one devastating disaster that took more than 250,000 lives. Watch the animation of the earthquake and tsunami in 2004 below:

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