How ancient organisms buried beneath the oceans affect earthquakes

How ancient organisms buried beneath the oceans affect earthquakes

In some parts of the world, earthquakes are specifically studied in anticipation of their arrival. For example, near New Zealand, the Hikurangi Sub-ZoneA magnitude greater than 8 can cause devastating earthquakes, which are being closely studied by scientists. Everything is analyzed, near this fault, even small sea creatures that have been buried for years in the depths of the oceans.

According to a recent study Shared by Science Alert, scientists have discovered a possible link between buried ancient creatures and seismic events in the region. These organisms are small masses of single-celled marine organisms – incl Foraminifera– Tens of thousands of years old. As they disappear, they leave behind calcite shells of unsuspected character.


These bombs Calcite It is actually very difficult to dissolve in the depths of the oceans. Accumulating a little bit, according to scientists, can completely affect the movements and friction of the plates – here, the Pacific plate and the Australian plate.

For now, there are two theories. If the calcite dissolves after all, it acts like a piece of melting sugar in a teapot: all the little pieces encourage it to slide between the plates, Science Media notes. On the other hand, if calcite does not melt, She can act like a cork It blocks the movement of the bug, until one day, it explodes, releasing a brutal energy. A kind of super earthquake.

Either way, calcite from the shells of these tiny, ancient creatures plays an important role. Now, researchers want to understand the size and shape of the calcite in Hikurangi’s subzone to better understand its function and, perhaps, anticipate the next catastrophe.

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