The Ocean Has Been Hiding a Massive, 300,000-Year-Old Landslide!

Khryss | Published 2017-02-10 23:57
The ocean is a very vast place. About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and the ocean hold about 96.5 percent of it. Long time ago, it has even been considered to be as mysterious as a human body and the space. At present, although scientists have discovered a huge chunk of ocean floor, it still remains elusive to them and a new discovery exhibited that a lot has truly to be found in this deep, fascinating body of water. Scientists discovered remnants of a massive landslide while conducting 3D mapping of deep sea floor around north-eastern Australia. A research led by Dr. Ángel Puga-Bernabéu studied further this area named the Gloria Knolls Slide complex, which is the largest landslide complex on the Great Barrier Reef margin. Large blocks, or knolls were found scattered up to 4,430 feet deep and over 1.8 miles long, more than 18.6 miles from the main remnants of the landslide. The sediment slip is estimated to be 32 cubic kilometers in volume- that is the equivalent to almost 3 billion dumptrucks filled with sand. In addition, a sample knoll was taken from the area and the oldest fossil corals recovered were found out to be 302,000 years old. Moreover, this slip was said to be older and has happened before this now-fossilized coral grew. As Australian Associated Press reports, the sample (taken from a depth of 1,170 metres) identified a remarkable cold-water coral community of living and fossil cold-water coral species, gorgonian sea whips, bamboo corals, molluscs and stalked barnacles. Researchers say that this discovery could yield important conservation clues from the relationship between undersea landslides and the presence of cold-water corals. It could also lead to the detection of threats Australia might face and help officials mitigate future tsunami risk. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2016.12.008
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