Tsunami imprints on the Leeward Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire) and their relation to other coastal problems

Tsunami are one of the major natural hazards in the Caribbean. The historical record lists 88 tsunami, from local events to teletsunami, in the time period from 1489 to 1998. This study focuses on the spatial distribution and geomorphologic evidence related to coarse littoral sediment and boulder deposition by tsunami events of Holocene age in the Southern Caribbean. At a worldwide scale, these debris deposits represent the most extensive and impressive records of Holocene paleo-tsunami so far studied. Hitherto, the Leeward Lesser Antilles, consisting of the islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, were not known to have had tsunami affecting their coastlines. The possible contribution of tsunami to configuring coastlines (e.g. the questions of embayment development, the coastal environment changes, and the absence of Holocene fringing reefs along the windward coasts) is discussed.

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