The geography of the islands around the epicenter of the magnitude 9 earthquake that occurred on the night of 26/12/2004 has been slightly modified.
Indeed, along a 400 km long rupture zone, the coasts have moved about twenty meters.
The shock "gave 3 minutes and 20 seconds of continuous vibration in the epicentral region, it's colossal," Paul Tapponnier, director of the tectonics laboratory at the Globe Physics Institute (IPG), told AFP.
"The maximum value of the slip of the fault towards the southwest is 20 meters over forty kilometers, and 15 meters, distributed over more than 100 km long", according to this scientist.
"There were also vertical movements, which could reach in some places one or two meters", added the researcher, and land rose up, especially in the region of Siberut, an island 100 km away. West Sumatra.
Sees also shape the landscape
“All earthquakes change the landscape. The earthquake is truly the architect of the landscape. All the mountains that we know have been shaped by earthquakes, ”explains Paul Tapponnier.
“The last great earthquake in Chile (1960) had displaced the landscape 20 meters and during a strong earthquake in Alaska in 1964, we saw islands rising, and we found oyster beds at 12 meters above tidal level, ”recalls the scientist.
An earthquake in Guadeloupe on November 21, with a magnitude of 6,3, and the consecutive tidal wave displaced the ocean floor by a few tens of centimeters, notes Mr. Tapponnier.
"Here we are dealing with an earthquake more than 1.000 times more powerful (than in Guadeloupe) and naturally these catastrophes radiate enough energy to give an impetus to the Earth", underlines Paul Tapponnier.
Like all major earthquakes, Sunday's earthquake in South Asia shook the planet like a hammer strike on a bell, and seismologists still record the waves of the main shock.
However, despite the tremendous energy released, such an earthquake will not significantly change the map of Asia, or even Earth's orbit.