Reef record suggests impending Sumatra quakes

Evidence of seafloor rise and fall shows southern Sumatra is at start of new earthquake cycle

By Sid Perkins, 13:12 PM December 11, 2008

The magnitude-8.4 and -7.9 quakes that slammed the Mentawai Islands southwest of Sumatra in September 2007 are likely just the first in a series of major temblors that will strike that region in the coming decades, new analyses of the archipelago’s coral reefs suggest.

Certain species of corals naturally record sea level: Because these creatures grow to the ocean’s surface but die if they’re dry for more than a few minutes, the height of a coral colony’s uppermost surface denotes a site’s l...

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