Ok, I originally posted this as a response to this thread: Atlantis
Sunk by a Meteorite?
I decided that this may be something of interest and deserves it's own thread. I have withdrawn the post and replaced it with a link to this
Really, I think the most reasonable explanation for the sinking of atlantis is liquifaction(?)
If you look at texts describing atlantis, they tell of it being built as several rings of water around a temple. The descriptions tell of massive
amounts of canals that were dug out of the island.
Given strong shaking over a given minimum short time certain soils will turn to a liquid. This is called liquefaction. The looser and the
smaller the particles the more effect. Sand would be worse. Bed rock will not liquefy. Hard dry clay is probable that it will, but is still to some
degree questionable in my mind. Once the soil is in a liquid form it will slosh like any other liquid.
(Yeah, I know it's ZetaTalk, but it's a simple explanation of the process)
If the Atlanteans were digging canals, they obviously weren't cutting through bedrock. This definitly leaves this open to possibility.
There are four main hazards from earthquakes: shaking, faulting, tsunamis, and ground failure. Liquefaction is how shaking causes ground
failure. If you've played on the beach, you can see how it works: take a patch of wet sand down in the surf zone. It may be firm enough to walk on,
but if you pat it a few times the saturated sand turns to muck. In earthquakes, the same thing occurs in buried layers of young sediment, down at the
water table as deep as 10 or 20 meters.
Japan has a bad problem with liquifaction during earthquakes. The whole island hasn't disappeared because of it, but it's also made up of alot of
volcanic rock. As Byrd stated, there aren't many volcanoes in the area that Atlantis should've resided, nor have there been. This would leave one to
assume that Atlantis was mainly 'dirt' or soil, although Plato's friend claimed there were quarries on Atlantis where they retrieved stone for the
buildings and temple (can't remember his name... the one who described Atlanis and the culture... or was Plato talking amongst himself, using
different names for the different sides he was taking as most philosophers have been known to do? Haven't been able to find the full texts, and have
short attention span...).
Anyways, Atlantis, by this theory, could've been set up for it's demise by the inhabitants. Considering the number of canals that were reportedly
built (dug), liquifaction would have been able to occurr with much less shaking. If there were an earthquake, the banks would cave into the canals
first, pushing the water up onto the land. When the shaking occurs, the water would be mixed into the soil, furthering the process. In a video I
watched of a Japanese earthquake driven liquifaction process, you could see water literally bleeding from the ground.
Don't forget that if Atlantis was off the coast of spain (straight out from the Pillars of Herecles) it could easily be prone to earthquakes
originating from the plate boundaries of the North American Plate, European Plate, and African Plates. If you look at a map, there is a spot where all
three meet that is really not far from where Atlantis should have been, according to the descriptions... especially if Atlantis was even half the size
of Plato's description.
I'd provide better links, but all I can find on 5 minutes searching, for the most part, is crap for sale on Yahoo!... ticks me off so bad whenever
I'm doing research!
*EDIT: Here's some good pics that will give you an idea of what liquifaction can do. geot.civil.metro-u.ac.jp...
Also, I've been spelling it wrong... the proper spelling is LIQUE
FACTION, not LIQUI