Numerical assessment of boulder transport by the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami in Lhok Nga, West Banda Aceh (Sumatra, Indonesia)

N. A.K. Nandasena, Raphaël Paris, Norio Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies have been conducted on modeling boulder transport by tsunamis despite considerable research on the analysis of boulder deposits. A detailed description of the derivation of governing equations for boulder transport in submerged, partially submerged, and subaerial (not in contact with fluid) is presented, and then a numerical model is proposed to solve the governing equations in one dimension. Subsequently, the model is used to analyze the transport of calcareous boulders detached from a seawall in Lhok Nga (northwestern Sumatra, Indonesia) by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. A few simulated transport distances match field observations, but the others are higher than the field measurements. Clast-to-clast interactions at the inception of transport would have a major impact on changes in transport distance, dissipating the energy in impulses as destruction of the seawall releases different sizes of boulders with different velocities. Moreover, surface microtopographical effects could completely stop the transport prematurely. The difference between the simulated results and the field observations is partly attributed to limitations of the numerical model. No landward fining was observed in the field measurements, but numerically predicted results showed a reasonable trend of landward fining.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1399
Number of pages9
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcareous boulders
  • Current velocity
  • Field observation
  • Finite difference method
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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