The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was generated by a large submarine earthquake (magnitude ???9.1) with an epicenter located under the seafloor in the eastern Indian Ocean near northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The resulting tsunami was measured globally and had significant geologic impacts throughout the Indian Ocean basin. Observations of tsunami impacts, such as morphologic change, sedimentary deposits, and water-level measurements, are used to reconstruct tsunamogenic processes. Data from Sumatra, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives provide a synoptic view of tsunami characteristics from a wide range of coastal environments both near- and far-field from the tsunami origin. Impacts to the coast as a result of the tsunami varied depending upon the height of the wave at impact, orientation of the coast with regard to direction of wave approach, and local topography, bathymetry, geology, and vegetation cover. Tsunami deposits were observed in all the countries visited and can be generally characterized as relatively thin sheets (<80 cm), mostly of sand. ?? 2006 Gebru??der Borntraeger.