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Earthquake and tsunami (Asia) - 26 December 2004
Change detection dataset of ENVISAT ASAR & MERIS, ERS 1&2 SAR, CHRIS/PROBA acquisitions.
Region of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Northern Sumatra
Following the Tsunami in Asia of 26 December 2004, a dataset of synthetic aperture radar acquisitions of ENVISAT ASAR and ERS 1&2 SAR, plus some optical acquisitions of ENVISAT MERIS and CHRIS/PROBA (see top navigation) will be made freely available by ESA to the Earth Science community, as previously done for the Izmit earthquake of 1999 and for the Bam earthquake of 2003. For further information on the event, please visit the USGS web page about the earthquake event of 26/12/2004 and the tsunami associated to this earthquake, click here


Figure taken from EOLI

The region covered includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Northern Sumatra. The package includes a series of datapairs acquired before and after the tsunami event, with the same incidence. The datapackage includes also very recent acquisitions, dating up to the end of April 2005.

This action aims at promoting the Envisat ASAR data for use in seismo-tectonic applications and highlighting the value of the ASAR and SAR data archive collected over the areas struck by the tsunami.

Users interested in downloading the dataset can do so using an FTP client and the following details: Host: User and Password: esa_ftp

In return, users are kindly requested to provide ESA with a short report (text and/or images in electronic format) showing the main results achieved with the dataset. Reports can be sent directly to the ESA Earth Observation PI team at

Users should acknowledge ESA in publications that make use of results obtained from these data. Where PROBA/CHRIS data are used, users should also acknowledge the SIRA Technology Ltd CHRIS instrument, developed with support from BNSC.

Preliminary results can be made available on the EOPI Portal.
Tsunami Dataset Package Content

The Tsunami dataset package is composed of 25 ASAR products (Narrow Swath, IS2, in IMP format), 9 SAR products (PRI format), 2 MERIS acquisitions in Full Resolution, 8 PROBA/CHRIS acquisitions (HDF format)

Data are grouped in four separate directories:

  • ANDAMAN_ASAR (ENVISAT ASAR acquisitions)
  • NICOBAR_SAR (ERS SAR acquisitions)
  • OPTICAL (ENVISAT MERIS and PROBA/CHRIS acquisitions over a variety of different locations).
POST-Tsunami data
North of Sumatra, desc.:

track 104, ASAR IS2 VV 15188 25/01/05 2 frames (03:30:06 - 03:30:28)

North of Sumatra, asc. :

track 441, ASAR IS2 VV 15525 17/02/05 3 frames (15:43:33 - 15:44:19)
track 169, ASAR IS2 VV 15253 29/01/05 2 frames (03:45:07 - 03:45:52)

Andaman, desc.:

track 233, ASAR IS2 HH 14816 30/12/04 4 frames (03:45:03 - 03:46:12)
track 233, ASAR IS2 VV 15818 10/03/05 4 frames (03:45:04 - 03:46:06)
track 233, ASAR IS2 VV 16319 14/04/05 3 frames (3:45:07- 3:45:52)


track 419 ERS2 VV 50874 12/01/05 1 frame (04:06:47 - 04:07:02)



track 448 15532 18/02/05 1 frame (04:01:03 - 04:13:48)


North Sentinel: (5299) 23/04/2005, (4CBD) 13/01/2005
Banda Aceh: (528A) 22/04/2005
Port Blair: (4DF3) 04/02/2005, (4F1A) 23/02/2005, (519A) 06/04/2005
Nicobar:(4C18) 04/01/2005, (4C9A) 11/01/2005
PRE-Tsunami data (corresponding archive)
North of Sumatra, desc.:

track 104, ERS2 VV 39537 12/11/02 2 frames (03:58:21 - 03:58:51)

North of Sumatra, asc. :

track 441, ERS2 VV 39874 05/12/02 3 frames (16:11:54 - 16:12:40)
track 169, ERS2 VV 39602 16/11/02 2 frames (16:08:59 - 16:09:29)

Andaman, desc.:

track 233, ASAR IS2 VV 11810 03/06/04 4 frames (03:45:09 - 03:45:55)
track 233 ASAR IS2 VV 11309 29/04/04 3 frames (03:45:06 - 03:45:47)


track 419 ERS1, VV 7578 27/12/92 1 frame (04:08:02 - 04:08:17)



track 448 10522 05/03/04 1 frame (04:10:12 - 04:14:03)

Additional data
The ASAR/SAR data archive in Asia contains other acquisitions taken on adjacent tracks or with different modes. Please visit the EOLI SA catalogue.
Preliminary Results
Using the datapairs contained in this package, several changes can be detected between post and pre-event acquisitions: they include very large variations in the shape of the coastlines and the surface of some islands, as evident on the western coast of the Andaman Islands.

Preliminary results (see top navigation):

  • ASAR: Andaman Islands
  • CHRIS/Proba: North Sentinel Island
  • ENVISAT MERIS FR: North Andaman Islands
Related Links
Data access and format:    
Precise data coregistrations, colour composites and animations based on SAR and ASAR data were produced by the Geoinformation PhD Programme of the Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy
Geoinformazione - Tor Vergata

CHRIS data were kindly processed by SIRA Technology Ltd