Reef record suggests impending Sumatra quakes

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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