Investigating beach erosion related with its recovery at Phra Thong Island, Thailand caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

Ryota Masaya, Anawat Suppasri, Kei Yamashita, Fumihiko Imamura, Chris Gouramanis, Natt Leelawat
2019 NHESSD  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami caused large-scale topographic changes in coastal areas. Whereas much research has focused on coastlines that have or had large human populations, little focus has been paid on coastlines that have little or no infrastructure. The importance of examining erosional and depositional mechanisms of tsunami events lies in the rapid reorganisation that coastlines must undertake immediately
more » ... after an event. Through understanding the precursor conditions to this reorganisation is paramount to the reconstruction of the coastal environment. This study examines the locations of sediment erosion and deposition during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami event on the relatively pristine Phra Thong Island, Thailand. Coupled with satellite imagery, we use numerical simulations and sediment transportation models to determine the locations of significant erosion and the areas where much of that sediment was redeposited during the tsunami inundation and backwash processes. Our modelling approach confirms that beaches on Phra Thong Island were significantly eroded by the 2004 tsunami, predominantly during the backwash phase of the first and largest wave to strike the island. Although 2004 tsunami sediment deposits are found on the island, we demonstrate that most of the sediment was deposited in the shallow coastal area, facilitating quick recovery of the beach when normal coastal processes resume.</p>
doi:10.5194/nhess-2019-263 fatcat:hkq7wnhmm5ebrdx6r4gyh54uk4