Scientists have found the largest exposed fault on Earth. Running through the notorious Ring of Fire. For the first time, researchers have confirmed the existence of the largest exposed fault on Earth, and it could explain how a 7.2-km-deep (4.5-mile) abyss formed in the Pacific Ocean.
Discovered beneath the Banda Sea in eastern Indonesia, the massive fault plane runs right through the notorious Ring of Fire – an explosive region where roughly 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes and 75 percent of all active volcanoes occur.
To investigate, geologists from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra and Royal Holloway University of London analysed maps of the sea floor taken from the Banda Sea region in the Pacific Ocean.
They discovered that rocks sitting the bottom of the sea were cut by hundreds of straight parallel scars.
Simulations of the sea floor suggested that a massive piece of crust bigger than Belgium was at some point ripped apart by a massive crack – or fault – in the oceanic plates to form a deep depression in the ocean floor.
Australian National University
The research has been published in Geology.
Clips, images credit: Australian National University (ANU) & MailOnline