Publication Details

This article was originally published as Nott, J and Bryant, EA, Extreme marine inundations (tsunamis?) of coastal Western Australia, Journal of Geology, 111(6), 2003, 691-706. Copyright University of Chicago Press. Original journal available here.


Along 2500 km of the Western Australian coast, prehistoric ephemeral marine inundations (storm surges or tsunamis) were much larger than those that occurred since European settlement. The evidence is in the form of shell and coral deposits atop 30-m-high headlands, sand deposits containing large boulders, shell and coral several kilometers inland, and fields of large imbricated boulders across shore platforms. The size of transported boulders and the altitude of these deposits suggest that tsunamis were responsible, not large storm waves. The orientation of boulders reveals paleowave directions. Radiocarbon dating of the deposits suggest three very large tsunamis along this coast during the past millennium.



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