Hundreds of people were killed, and countless injured after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan on Tuesday. Aftershocks were felt all throughout the middle east, and the surface of the earth has been changed forever.
A new island rose from the seabed just off the coast of Pakistan.
According to DIG Gwadar Moazzam Jah, the island’s altitude is 20 to 40 feet and width around 100 feet.
Talking to Geo news, the DIG said that the island emerged at a distance of 350 feet in the sea from the Gwadar coast.
According to the Meteorological Department, the epicentre of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake was 120Km southwest of Khuzdar in Balochistan province at a depth of 10 kilometres. The US Geological Survey measured the earthquake at 7.8.
NBC reported that, Seismologists suspect the island is a temporary formation resulting from a “mud volcano,” a jet of mud, sand and water that gushed to the surface as the temblor churned and pressurized that slurry under the ocean floor.
“Sandy layers underground are shaken, and sand grains jiggle and become more compact,” John Armbruster, a seismologist at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University told NBC News. The shifting sand layers are compacted and pressurize the water, which gushed upwards, carrying mud and sand along with it.
Researchers at the United States Geological Survey are investigating the new formation, Paul Earle, a USGS geophysicist told NBC News, but have yet to get independent confirmation of it.
It is clear that “the islands are not created because the ground was … pushed up by the earthquake,” he said, but more likely it was a secondary effect of shifting sediments. He also agrees the formation appears to have been caused by a mud volcano, but added that they don’t need an earthquake to set them off. There are “mud volcanoes in Yellowstone that have not been triggered by earthquakes,” he said.
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