Great Barrier Reef the living thing on earth visible from space has amazed scientists once again! A massive undersea landslide has been found in Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef that may have triggered a huge tsunami more than 300,000 years ago.
Researchers found remains of the slip 75 kilometres off the north Queensland coast which are known as he Gloria Knolls Slide.
About Great Barrier Reef
It has world’s largest collection of corals (in fact, more than 400 different kinds of coral), coral sponges, molluscs, rays, dolphins. The impressive coral gardens reveal over 1500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds and around 20 types of reptiles.
“This is all that remains after a massive collapse of sediment of about 32 cubic kilometres' volume more than 300,000 years ago,” said Robin Beaman, from James Cook University in Australia.
According to Beaman a debris field of large blocks, or knolls, and numerous smaller blocks, lies scattered over 30 kilometres from the main landslide remains, into the Queensland Trough, to a depth of 1,350 metres.
“We were amazed to discover this cluster of knolls while 3D multibeam mapping the deep GBR seafloor. In an area of the Queensland Trough that was supposed to be relatively flat were eight knolls, appearing like hills with some over 100 metres high and three kilometres long,” said Beaman.
“The oldest fossil corals recovered off the top of the knoll was 302 thousand years, which means the landslide event that caused these knolls must be older,” said Angel Puga-Bernabeu at the University of Granada in Spain.
Researchers believe that potential tsunami for a sudden mass failure on this scale yields a three-dimensional tsunami wave elevation of about 27 metres.
However, more of seabed mapping and sampling is needed to fully assess tsunami hazard to the Queensland coast posed by these types of underwater landslides. The study was published in the Marine Geology journal.
With PTI Inputs