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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 485068, 14 pages
Research Article

Application of Binary Diagnostic Ratios of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons for Identification of Tsunami 2004 Backwash Sediments in Khao Lak, Thailand

NIDA Center for Research & Development of Disaster Prevention & Management, School of Social and Environmental Development, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), 118 Moo3, Sereethai Road, Klong-Chan, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

Received 3 April 2014; Revised 16 June 2014; Accepted 18 June 2014; Published 22 July 2014

Academic Editor: Gianluigi De Gennaro

Copyright © 2014 Siwatt Pongpiachan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Identification of Tsunami deposits has long been a controversial issue among geologists. Although there are many identification criteria based on the sedimentary characteristics of unequivocal Tsunami deposits, the concept still remains ambiguous. Apart from relying on some conventional geological, sedimentological, and geoscientific records, geologists need some alternative “proxies” to identify the existence of Tsunami backwash in core sediments. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of very stable organic molecules, which can usually be presented as complex mixtures of several hundred congeners; one can assume that the “Tsunami backwash deposits” possess different fingerprints of PAHs apart from those of “typical marine sediments.” In this study, three-dimensional plots of PAH binary ratios successfully identify the Tsunami backwash deposits in comparison with those of global marine sediments. The applications of binary ratios of PAHs coupled with HCA are the basis for developing site-specific Tsunami deposit identification criteria that can be applied in paleotsunami deposits investigations.