Preliminary Report of the AMS analysis of tsunami deposits in Tohoku -- Japan -- 18th to the 21st Century

24 Feb 2015  ·  Wassmer P. LGP, Gomez C. LGP, Hart D. E. LGP, Hiraishi T. LGP, Azuma R. LGP, Koenig B. LGP, Trautmann M. LGP ·

Sedimentary records of tsunamis are a precious tool to assess the occurrence of past events, as attested by an abundant literature, which has seen a particular 'boom' in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 Tohoku tsunami. Despite an extensive literature, there is very little to no understanding of the role that the changing coastal environment is playing on the record of a tsunami, and for a given location, it is still unclear whether the largest tsunamis leave the largest amount of deposits... To research this question, the present study took place in Japan, in the Tohoku Region at Agawa-pond, because the pond act as a sediment trap. Using a sediment-slicer, a 1 m thick deposit was retrieved, from which 4 tsunami sequences were identified, including the latest 2011 tsunami. Using a series of sedimentary proxies: the AMS (Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility), grain size analysis, quartz morphoscopy (morphology and surface characteristics) and the analysis of microfossils, disparities between the tsunami deposits were identified and most importantly a clear thinning of the tsunami deposit towards the top. Provided the present evidences, the authors discuss that the upward fining is due to at least two components that are seldom assessed in tsunami research (1) a modification of the depositional environment, with the progressive anthropization of the coast, providing less sediments to remobilize; and (2) a progressive filling of the Agawa pond, which progressively loses its ability to trap tsunami materials. read more

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