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Unknown submarine landslides discovered in Gulf of Mexico

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A Florida State College researcher has used new detection strategies to establish 85 beforehand unknown submarine landslides that occurred within the Gulf of Mexico between 2008 and 2015, resulting in questions in regards to the stability of oil rigs and different constructions, corresponding to pipelines constructed within the area.

Assistant Professor Wenyuan Fan within the Division of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science has revealed a brand new paper within the journal Geophysical Analysis Letters that identifies these landslides and the dangers they pose to coastal communities.

“The noticed landslides recommend a potential tsunami hazard for coastal communities alongside the Gulf of Mexico and that seabed infrastructure within the Gulf of Mexico, together with oil platforms and pipelines, can also be in danger from the landslides,” Fan stated.

Fan and his colleagues measured knowledge from seismic stations throughout the US. They discovered that out of the 85 landslides they recognized, 10 occurred spontaneously with out previous earthquakes. The opposite 75 occurred nearly immediately after the passage of floor waves brought on by distant earthquakes. A few of these had been thought-about quite small earthquakes, Fan added.

The discovering was a shock for Fan and his colleagues, he famous. In making an attempt to higher perceive lesser-known earthquake processes, he had designed a way to seize earthquake knowledge that may assist him get a greater take a look at steady waveforms. That led him to seismic sources within the Gulf of Mexico.

“There are few energetic faults within the Gulf, and the seismicity is scarce within the area,” he stated. “This puzzled me and anxious me as a result of we dwell near the Gulf. With the query and the priority, I seemed into the main points of those seismic sources and ultimately concluded that they’re prone to be submarine landslides.”

Fan stated presently he and his colleagues do not need any real-time knowledge associated to wreck from these occasions and that many of the landslides had been within the deep-water area of the Gulf. The flexibility to detect and find these submarine landslides means that scientists might be able to adapt researchers’ strategies for hazard monitoring sooner or later although.

Story Supply:

Materials supplied by Florida State University. Unique written by Kathleen Haughney. Be aware: Content material could also be edited for fashion and size.

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