Scientists believe they have discovered the cause of the “slow” earthquakes that have rocked New Zealand in recent years. A hidden ocean extending 3 kilometers beneath the sea floor.
the Indy100 It is noteworthy that the water appeared as part of a giant volcanic area that formed about 125 million years ago. At that time, a volcanic eruption unleashed a sea of lava larger than the United States onto the Earth’s surface.
The researchers placed 3D seismic sensors behind the ship to create an image of the ancient volcanic region. There, they found thick, layered sediments around long-buried volcanoes that contained much more water than expected.
“Normal oceanic crust should contain less water when it reaches 7 to 10 million years,” said Andrew Gas, of the University of Texas Geophysics Institute.
An earthquake caused no damage
The ocean crust the researchers studied was ten times older than this crust, but water made up nearly half its volume. The tectonic fault line that runs through New Zealand is known for producing slow-moving earthquakes, or slow-slip events.
During an earthquake, earthquake energy is released over days or months, often causing little or no damage. However, scientists do not know why it occurs more often in some fractures than others, but they believe it is related to buried water.
Finding a new water area on the fault line that causes so many slide accidents could explain all of this. According to Jaz, “We see that the amount of water flowing here is actually much higher than usual.”
If researchers can figure out how water reserves influence or perhaps suppress slip events, they can better understand typical earthquakes.
In addition, according to them, groundwater pressure can play a major role in the development of conditions that release tectonic stress through slow-slip earthquakes.
As a result, scientists will have to dig deeper to find out where the water is going, Ghazi said.