Monitoring Megathrust-Earthquake-Cycle-Induced Relative Sea-Level Changes near Phuket, South Thailand, Using (Space) Geodetic Techniques

M.C. Naeije, W.J.F. Simons, Siriporn Pradit, Sommart Niemnil, Nalinee Thongtham, M.A. Bin Mustafar, Prakrit Noppradit

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Temporal changes in vertical land motion (VLM) in and around Phuket Island in southern Thailand following the great 2004 Sumatra–Andaman megathrust earthquake have impacted the relative sea-level change estimates based on tide-gauge (TG) records. To better monitor the VLM, two new continuous global navigation satellite system (GNSS) stations have been installed in the past 5 years, situated on bedrock both near and at the Koh Taphao Noi Island TG in Phuket, which together with older global positioning system (GPS) data provides a clear insight in the VLM of Phuket Island from 1994 onward. In addition, satellite altimetry (SALT) data has been analyzed since 1992. The VLM (GPS) position and relative (TG) and absolute (SALT) sea-level change time series were successfully combined in pairs to validate each independent result (e.g., SALT − GNSS = TG): prior to the 2004 earthquake, the relative sea-level rise in Phuket was 1.0 ± 0.7 mm/yr, lower by 2.4 ± 0.2 mm/yr than the absolute sea-level rise caused by VLM. After the earthquake, nonlinear post-seismic subsidence has caused the VLM to drop by 10 cm in the past 17 years, resulting, by the end of 2020, in a relative sea-level rise by up to 16 cm. During the same period, other TG stations in south Thailand recorded similar sea-level increases. Combination with SALT further suggests that, prior to 2005, uplift (5.3 ± 1.4 mm/yr) of the coastal region of Ranong (north of Phuket) resulted in a relative sea-level fall, but since then, post-seismic-induced negative VLM may have significantly increased coastal erosion along the entire Andaman Sea coastline
Original languageEnglish
Article number5145
Number of pages21
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • tide gauge
  • GPS
  • satellite altimetry
  • sea-level change
  • vertical land motion
  • geophysics (seismic)
  • Andaman Sea
  • Thailand
  • coastal erosion
  • SE Asia


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