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Geologists Find Largest Exposed Fault on Earth- Catastrophic earthquakes & tsunamis?

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posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 11:57 PM

An international team of geologists from the Australian National University and Royal Holloway University of London has for the first time documented the Banda Detachment fault in eastern Indonesia and worked out how it formed.

“The abyss has been known for 90 years but until now no one has been able to explain how it got so deep.”

“Our research found that a 4.3-mile (7 km) deep abyss beneath the Banda Sea off eastern Indonesia was formed by extension along what might be Earth’s largest-identified exposed fault plane.”

By analyzing high-resolution maps of the Banda Sea floor, Dr. Pownall and co-authors found the rocks flooring the seas are cut by hundreds of straight parallel scars.

These wounds show that a piece of crust bigger than Belgium or Tasmania must have been ripped apart by 74.5 miles (120 km) of extension along a low-angle crack, or detachment fault, to form the present-day ocean-floor depression.

“This fault, the Banda Detachment, represents a rip in the ocean floor exposed over 14.8 million acres (60,000 sq. km),” Dr. Pownall said.

So now the question is if this happened all at once, or if it ripped apart over thousands of years. And from the sounds of it, it seems it happened at once.

Now I can speculate that if this did indeed happen all at once, the sheer size alone of that abyss is more than scary in implication. It's flat out biblical. The scale of that tsunami would be rivaled perhaps only by the one in my book, or maybe what happened in Latuya Bay in Alaska back in the 50's. Except this would dwarf that one. And considering the mega tsunami in Alaska was like some 1,200 feet high or higher, to dwarf that means a major cataclysm.

A mega tsunami so big we are talking miles high. Because that's the kind of water displacement we'd be looking at, if this happened all at once. There are big quakes from time to time in the Banda Sea, usually 6+, maybe the occasional 7. I can't seem to recall an 8+ there in my time. But my god, if that fault moved that far to create that abyss, there is no telling what could happen in the future there. They don't call it the ring of fire for nothing. And after what happened nearby in 2004, maybe it should be called the ring of death. With this find, however, maybe we are looking at the ring of extinction.

You gotta love the fresh smell of doomporn in the morning.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 12:19 AM
So I am sitting here, still digesting this, and wondering about what just happened in New Zealand with that 7.8 quake, when a bunch of the ocean floor was uplifted in minutes and became exposed. That was a 7.8, supposedly. My mind seriously struggles to comprehend the size of quake that must have been to cause a piece of earth that large to be displaced so utterly far. This catastrophe has yet to be understood, and I can bet you it has many scientists scrambling as this news breaks.

Events like this on earth are ultra rare. So rare that we as humans just don't know. We can only imagine them. And yet there sit the scars of such upheaval before our very eyes.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 12:22 AM
I don't think our quake scale would work for a quake that big. It would probably be something like a ninety 98.6

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 02:03 AM
I dont think a earthquak that large is possible normally. The energy requirment is too high.

But a large metor strike in that hemosphere could have triggered it.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 04:01 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican

You know...when I read your OP, the first thing I thought of was that NZ quake. Forgive my ignorance on the subject, but when it comes to chain reactions, could a fault like that cause a chain that spreads/branches out over the whole planet, like a big crack in a piece of glass? And if yes, and it happened rapidly, would multiple tsunamis occur all over the world too?

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 04:14 AM
Star and flag...

and thanks for the nightmare fuel for tonight..

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 04:40 AM
a reply to: crazyewok

or a water planet/Moon... I am still working on our earth getting struck by a large ball of water... Everything I see seems to point that way.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 04:54 AM
I am just beginning to understand the implications of this myself, and trying to wrap my brain around this. This is bigger than major news for the scientific community. This brings a whole new level of potential catastrophe, which to be honest, I thought I had cornered pretty well with the scenario laid out in my book "Mega Cataclysm: The Last Survivors Chronicles."

But that, while extremely remotely possible in the far future, as I have documented in my book, is really only fantasy land. The closest thing in reality was, previous to this discovery, the Cumbre Vieja volcano flank collapsing, or maybe an insanely large asteroid.

I have postulated before that occasionally, the earth could experience seismic events so large that they would be unfathomable, and frankly unbelievable. Like perhaps the forming of mountains on an instantaneous basis rather than on a time scale of millions of years. Well if this discovery is true, and it seems pretty well documented, then this is postulation no longer. There well could be earthquakes, exceedingly rare of course, that could exceed ten on the scale. I was told by a scientist familiar with such matters that theoretically, because of known fault lengths, that a 9.7 to 9.8 would be the absolute highest an earthquake could be.

But that was before they knew about this. Because the moment magnitude, energy release, and sheer area of rupture would be so large that it would far exceed anything ever recorded, of course, but it would go way beyond that even. I mean you are looking at a real life 2012 movie here, just about. Or worse.

And so, I can already hear the scientific chatter in the distance. Everyone's going to want to know a lot more about the largest exposed fault plane on earth, but more importantly, people are going to want to know what the potential is for this to happen again. It is a bigger than life problem. And the sound of allocated research money I will bet is already jingling loud and clear, calling the names of all scientific sorts who are going to want to get a name on various aspects of further research needed. USGS bosses are cringing no doubt, already stretched to just make ends meet and keep personnel. And now this. It is a MUST research.

With a conservative White House incoming, and looking to cut expenses and gut the government wherever they can, private funding will probably be necessary to advance knowledge of this monster beast that threatens the planet. And yes, I believe that is big enough to threaten all life on this planet- some directly, but mostly indirectly if a chain of events happened, set off by such another cataclysm.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 05:19 AM

So the way my brain is working this. Is this is like a Yellowstone level of event, only made magnitudes worse because Yellowstone isn't going to throw an ocean at you.

Even then, I suspect that doesn't quite cover how colossal this is.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 05:26 AM
a reply to: watchitburn

Well to put this in perspective: Yellowstone's largest earth displacement was when it consumed a part of a mountain range and collapsed some 3,000 feet.

This? Heh. We are talking a displacement of 120 KILOMETERS, under the ocean. I don't want to even think about the resulting mega tsunami that caused. It is just far too catastrophic for me to even understand. Mind blowing, to say the least.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 05:53 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican
I don't know if current scientific opinion still thinks the moon was ripped out of the earth on that side of the planet, when it was still fairly fluid, but that's the first parallel that occurred to me.
(My most up-to-date information on the event is Rachel Carson's "The sea around us". By coincidence, I was reading the passage yesterday morning. I'm aware that science may have moved on since then)

edit on 16-12-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 06:10 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican
The "hundreds of parallel scars" signal to me that it didn't have at once, but rather over time..

...And that's tough to say being a doomporn fan..

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 06:12 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican

Hmm, have been reading about this exposed fault for the past week and i am not sure i share quite the doom outlook as you (in tersm of potential wave sizes).

Have you seen this paper yet? Visualisation of oceanic asteroid impact It is a new paper from NASA detailing the effects of ocean impact asteroid strikes. Suffice to say, even then we wouldn't expect tsunami's crossing continents, etc. Initial wave heights would be huge from the rim wave but then quickly dissipate. They theorise and tested (super computers) for direct impact, oblique impact and airburst (previously thought to generate the largest wave heights). The latest physics simply doesn't support it.

Therefore, if something travelling at 40'000 mph smashing into the ocean won't do it, why would a fault?

Clearly, that is not to say that a rupture wouldn't be catastrpohic (just look at the 2004 tsunami or numerous other seismic events in the region) but certainly nothing 2012 style.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 06:21 AM
a reply to: Tucket

Well let's hope for all our sakes that it happened mostly over millions of years, very slowly. But regardless, it shows the potential for further slippage is there. More will become known later about the degrees and rates of slippage, the more they study it.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 06:30 AM
a reply to: Flavian

Because displacement from the ocean floor displaces the entire column of water, from the ocean bottom to the top. The wave height is directly proportional to the displacement.

So if for instance, in just one large or catastrophic quake on this fault, the movement was just one kilometer, the resulting wave height could be close to that. And that's either if it drops one Km or is raised one Km. Not just a surface impact.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 06:34 AM
Yeah, no doubt. What bothers me is... what else haven't we discovered yet? What if there are more like this? When these scientists keep 'discovering' new scary stuff, it make me wonder. I'm probably just running wild in the imagination department, though.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 07:25 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican

Oh i definitely understand it, i just don't quite see the evidence for such large scale tsunami's. Not often we disagree geologically speaking but i have to confess to not being quite with you on this one! But only in terms of potential sizes of tsunamis, rather than anything else.

This monster certainly warrants further study.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 07:49 AM
I would like to throw out a purely hypothetical idea for consideration. I understand the basics of plate tectonics, but it is not my forte. I am looking for advise on the viability of my idea.

I know the following: recent years have shown a drastic deviation in weather patterns in my area, so much I now have several years of accumulated data I am trying to analyze for patterns. This deviation (loosely referred to as a "polar vortex" in the local news) is the result of a deviation in the Jet Stream across North America. Essentially, the Jet Stream shifts from a more-or-less west-to-east course into a convoluted pattern. It bypasses California completely to the north (resulting in the recent droughts), extends far into the Arctic, then plunges due south across the middle of the country before finally straightening out again.

I also know that scientists have recently identified an appreciable rise in the temperature of the Bering Current, IMO probably responsible for the Arctic Melt.

I have heard it hypothesized that there is a correlation between the phenomenon I just described and volcanic activity in the New Zealand area. While I have not had time to independently verify this correlation, it makes as much sense as anything else.

Now I see this. The article mentions a thinning and perhaps voids developing in the crust around the Weber Deep due to this detachment. Considering the low angle of the detachment, it could easily be responsible for nearby volcanic activity. Could exposed sections of the mantle be releasing enough heat into the waters to change the Bering Current temperature? I have my doubts since the planetary rotation tends to isolate the Northern and Southern Hemispheres... but I would like to hear some expert assessments on the possibility.


posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 07:59 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican

I would be surprised if a singular, instantaneous rending of the Earths crust would result in bands, stretch mark like fissures in the material exposed. It seems far more likely that if such an event had happened all at once, the resulting exposure of hot rock would have created just a massive, scar like feature along the entire length and breadth of the exposed area, with a relatively uniform consistency and topography.

posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 08:22 AM
a reply to: TrueAmerican

This strikes me as being possibly in the realm of circumstantial evidence of the old tales of ancient Lemuria, which was sited as being in that general location, and which was apparently driven beneath the waves by a cataclysmic event which literally opened up the mantle of the Earth while it was ripping that island utopia to shreds. That hypothesised cataclysmic event actually would have led to the total destruction of all evidence that the island had ever existed at all. I mean, if we're talking about sections of land, millions of acres, being driven into the exposed mantle while the ocean flooded over its former location, I think it would be pretty much assured that there would remain no concrete primary archaeological or anthropological evidence of its existence.

There's a lot to be learned from an excellent book: The Lost Civilsation of Lemuria; the rise & fall of the world's oldest civilisation

I cannot laud the work of that author highly enough, it is a truly fantastic book.

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