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Tsunami Just the Beginning of Earthquake Supercycle

2004 tsunami just the beginning of EARTHQUAKE SUPERCYCLE, say scientists. Massive earthquakes in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra are just the beginning. Researchers expect a 30-year cycle of mega-quakes like the one that caused the 2004 tsunami. Scientists studying Sumatran reefs say the coral there have experienced massive die-offs as well as new horizontal growth about every two hundred years. Moreover, these changes happened in fits and starts over phases of about 30 - 100 years. That suggests the area experiences what's called an "earthquake supercycle" for several decades every two centuries. Last year's 8.4 quake off the coast of Sumatra is probably the first quake in a new supercycle, since the last big die-off in the coral reefs took place in 1833. Other quake cycles hit in 1374, 1596, 1675, and 1797.

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