Sediment transport on the inner shelf off Khao Lak (Andaman Sea, Thailand) during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and former storm events: evidence from foraminiferal transfer functions
Abstract. We have investigated the benthic foraminiferal fauna from sediment event layers associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and former storms that have been retrieved in short sediment cores from offshore environments of the Andaman Sea, off Khao Lak, western Thailand. Species composition and test preservation of the benthic foraminiferal faunas exhibit pronounced changes across the studied sections and provide information on the depositional history of the tsunami layer, particularly on the source water depth of the displaced foraminiferal tests. In order to obtain accurate bathymetric information on sediment provenance, we have mapped the distribution of modern faunas in non-tsunamigenic surface sediments and created a calibration data set for the development of a transfer function. Our quantitative reconstructions revealed that the resuspension of sediment particles by the tsunami wave was restricted to a maximum water depth of approximately 20 m. Similar values were obtained for former storm events, thus impeding an easy distinction of different high-energy events.