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Pitt-Johnstown Geology and Planetary Science Faculty Member Paper to be Published in National Magazine

Pitt-Johnstown Geology and Planetary Science Faculty Member Paper to be Published in National Magazine

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Katrin Monecke     Dr. Katrin Monecke, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown visiting assistant professor of geology and planetary science, had a manuscript published in the Nature, (vol. 455, number 7217), one of the most prominent scientific journals in publication.  The paper is entitled “A 1,000 year sediment record of tsunami recurrence in northern Sumatra,” is a collaboration of scientists from Switzerland, Indonesia, and the U.S.  The giant Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of December 26, 2004 and following Indian Ocean tsunami were unprecedented in 400 years of historical earthquake records in Aceh, Indonesia.  In this paper, the written history is extended 1000 years back into Aceh’s past. 

     The paper was led by Dr. Monecke and co-authored with Willi Finger (Caritas, Switzerland), David Klarer (Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, Ohio), Widjo Kongko (Coastal Research Institute (BPPT) Indonesia), Brian McAdoo (Vassar College, N.Y.), Andrew Moore (Earlham College, Ind.), and S. Sudrajat (Catholic Relief Services, Indonesia).  It is being released along side a companion paper on the paleotsunami record in Thailand (Jankaew et al.). Both papers provide evidence that the youngest full predecessor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami occurred around 600 years ago.

     “Assessing the seismic hazard along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean is a challenging task and involves earth scientists, coastal planners and tsunami warning specialists.  Anybody involved in risk reduction wants to know how to better prepare for disasters, and many express the desire for geological records that give the numbers to plan with,” said Dr. Monecke.  According to Brian McAdoo, co-author and professor at Vassar College, N.Y, this information is “critical for planners who need to know how to rebuild for an event that occurs every 100 to 500 odd years, not to mention educators that need to sustain awareness over those same time periods.”

     Dr. Monecke holds a PhD from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and MS and BS from the University of Hannover, Germany.  She joined the Pitt-Johnstown faculty in 2008.

     For information about the article, visit

     For additional information on the paper, contact Katrin Monecke, Pitt-Johnstown, at 814-269-2942.

     Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.   A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, Pitt-Johnstown offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Knipple, Robert on 10/29/2008 3:05:00 PM