Over the past few years, several attempts have been performed to find alternative “chemical proxies” in order to discriminate “tsunami backwash deposits” from “typical marine sediments”. A wide range of statistical tools has been selected in order to investigate the sediments and/or terrestrial soils transportation mechanism during the tsunami inundation period by using several types of chemical tracers.
To relate the physical and chemical characteristics of Typical Marine Sediments (TMS), Tsunami Backwash Deposits (TBD), Onshore Tsunami Deposits (OTD) and Coastal Zone Soils (CZS) with their synchrotron radiation based micro-X-ray Fluorescence (μ-SXRF) spectra, the μ- SXRF spectra were built in the appropriate selected spectra range from 3,000 eV to 8,000 eV. Further challenges were considered by using the first-order derivative μ-SXRF spectra coupled with Probability Distribution Function (PDF), Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in order to investigate the elemental distribution characteristics in various types of terrestrial soils and marine sediments. Dendrographic classifications and multi-dimensional plots of principal components (i.e. bi-polar and three dimensional plots) could indicate the impacts of terrestrial soils and/or marine sediments transport on onshore and/or offshore during the tsunami inundation period. Obviously, these advanced statistical analyses are quite useful and provide valuable information and thus shed new light on the study of paleotsunami.