In 2004 the Boxing Day tsunami, Mw 9.2 earthquake struck North Sumatra and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indonesia. The undersea megathrust earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis (waves up to 30 metres high) along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people in 14 countries. It was 3rd largest and one of the most deadly natural disasters in recorded history. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.
An international team of scientists are about to set sail from the 6 August to 6 October to study the Sumatra Seismogenic Zone, with the aims to establish (1) the initial and evolving properties of the North Sumatran incoming sediments and (2) their potential effect on seismogenesis, tsunamigenesis, and forearc development for comparison with global examples. While aboard the JOIDES Resolution, TeBi Researcher, Sarah Kachovich and her fellow scientist peers will be drilling close to the Sunda trench in order to gather sediments from the Indian ocean floor that can give them a record of the Cenozoic Era (from 65.5 million years ago to the present).