Great Sumatran fault

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The Indonesian island of Sumatra is located in a highly seismic area of the world. In addition to the subduction zone and the associated Sunda Arc off the west coast of the island, Sumatra also has a large strike-slip fault, the so-called Great Sumatran Fault, running the entire length of the island. This fault zone accommodates most of the strike-slip motion associated with the oblique convergence between the Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates.[1] The fault ends in the north just below the city of Banda Aceh, which was devastated in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. After the December 2004 earthquake, pressure on the Great Sumatran Fault has increased tremendously, especially in the north.

Although an earthquake on this fault will not create a tsunami, it will still probably have disastrous consequences, due to its proximity to major population centers. Such an earthquake could even trigger eruptions of the volcanoes along the fault.[citation needed]

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