A process was started to create a 3D deep sea map of the areas around the Great Barrier Reef. It led to a surprising discovery. The international team of scientists discovered evidence of a cataclysmic underwater landslide in the bygone era.
Researchers have uncovered a gigantic landslide which was hidden beneath the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The landslide could have been precipitated by a major earthquake some 3, 00,000 years ago. Queensland scientists while working on the Great Barrier Reef have uncovered this huge structure which is 30 times the volume of Uluru. The structure is known as Gloria Knolls Slide and is one of the seven undersea landslides which have been discovered by scientists in the recent years.
Scientists from Australia, Spain, and Scotland conducted surveys of the Southern Oceans aboard the Southern Surveyor. Speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corporation, James Cook University, Robin Beaman said that the structure was almost 30 times the volume of sandstone block Uluru and has traveled approximately 20 miles from its original location. Using computer simulations, the researchers found that the event unleashed a tsunami which was taller than an eight storey building.
According to Dr. Robin, a series of large blocks were discovered in ocean floor surveys off the coast of Innisfail in 2007.It required some cruises before the whole structure could be mapped. It seemed as if a huge block was bitten off from the Australian continent. The fossil records hint that the landslide happened some 300,000,000 years ago.
The team also made an exciting discovery. In spite of the frigid conditions, they found the structure teeming with corals. Life was thriving on the Gloria Knolls even after being completely dark and cold at 4 degree Celsius. The structure extended about 30 kilometers outwards from the edge of the Great Barrier Reef to some 30 kilometers