UK & World News
Tsunami Fears Over Sea Floor Collapse Near Oz
A huge slab of sea floor near the Great Barrier Reef is in the early stages of collapse and could trigger a tsunami, researchers have warned.
Marine geologists from Australia's James Cook University have been using advanced 3D mapping techniques on the deepest parts of the reef since 2007 and have discovered dozens of sub-marine canyons.
On a recent trip, they found a one cubic kilometre slab of sea floor - the remains of an ancient underwater landslide - which is perched on the continental shelf.
Geologist Robin Beaman said: "Under-sea landslides are a well understood geological process, but we didn't know there were any on the Barrier Reef.
"It is sitting on top of a sub-marine canyon, cutting into the slopes and it is in the preliminary stage of collapse."
He added that it was unclear when the collapse would occur.
Mr Beaman said: "It is slowly giving way although it remains stable under current conditions.
"But it is absolutely going to collapse and when it does it will fall one kilometre into the adjacent basin.
"This will generate a localised tsunami that will affect the Queensland coastline, which is around 40 miles away.
"We're not trying to alarm people, but we need to know it is there and what could happen when it falls."
The discovery, published in the journal Natural Hazards, was made by geologists on board the research vessel Southern Surveyor.
what do you think?
Misleading title when you read the details. . Orange world trying to cash in on the Mayan 21st December prophecy?
Head for the ark.
Coastline is 40 miles away? Wont a tsunami have lost most of it's power at that distance so when it hits the shore it will just be like a heavy wave breaking? ?
Why do these so called scientists put out these scare stories and alarm people. Keep an eye on it and tell us when it happens so we can take avoiding action. Until then shut up or are you angling for more money for your favourite projects??