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Title: Investigating geological records of tsunamis in western Thailand with environmental DNA
Authors: Yap, Wenshu
Switzer, Adam D.
Gouramanis, Chris
Horton, Benjamin Peter
Marzinelli, Ezequiel Miguel
Wijaya, Winona
Yan, Yu Ting
Dominey-Howes, Dale
Labbate, Maurizio
Jankaew, Kruawun
Lauro, Federico M.
Keywords: Science::Geology
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Yap, W., Switzer, A. D., Gouramanis, C., Horton, B. P., Marzinelli, E. M., Wijaya, W., Yan, Y. T., Dominey-Howes, D., Labbate, M., Jankaew, K. & Lauro, F. M. (2023). Investigating geological records of tsunamis in western Thailand with environmental DNA. Marine Geology, 457, 106989-.
Project: NRF-RF2010-04 
MOE 2019-T3-1-004 
Journal: Marine Geology 
Abstract: The identification of tsunami deposits in the geological record remains a challenge because the proxies availabilities are subject to the environment. The proxies may degrade over time and inherently inhibit the robustness of event interpretations. Multi-proxy methods, which leverage on each other's advantage/s and limitation/s, are employed to improve the identification of tsunami deposits from the geological record. Here, we assess the utility of environmental DNA (eDNA) for tsunami research by comparing and contrasting the eDNA collected from a sequence of well-documented palaeotsunami deposits spanning the past three millennia. We study swales in a coastal beach ridge sequences on Phra Thong Island, Thailand and test if eDNA can robustly discriminate the tsunami-deposited sand sheets that intercalate between the non-tsunami derived organic mud layers. Our results indicate that the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami deposit and preceding tsunami deposits (approximately 550 to 700 years ago) contain microbial communities that differ significantly from the overlying and underlying organic mud layers (p-value = 0.0269) but the signal becomes restricted in the older sediment layers up to 2800-year-old that are constantly submerged in groundwater. This work demonstrates the potential for applying eDNA to study tsunami deposits over centennial time frames and perhaps longer.
ISSN: 0025-3227
DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2023.106989
Schools: Asian School of the Environment 
Research Centres: Earth Observatory of Singapore 
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering (SCELSE) 
Rights: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ASE Journal Articles

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