Past seismic slip-to-the-trench recorded in Central America megathrust

Journal: Nature Geoscience

Published: 2017-11-27

DOI: 10.1038/s41561-017-0013-4

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 7

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Research Highlight

Predicting the risk of tsunami from seafloor geology

© Yoshinori Kuwahara/Moment/Getty

© Yoshinori Kuwahara/Moment/Getty

Geological features on the seafloor that contributed to Japan’s devastating 2011 Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami have also been found in a fault line that runs along the eastern coastline of North, Central and South America.

An international team of researchers, including some from the University of Tsukuba, noted that previous drilling research in the Japan Trench had revealed a clay-rich seafloor that helped translate the earthquake’s energy into the huge tsunami that struck Japan’s eastern coast.

With this knowledge, they looked at drilling samples from the seafloor off southeastern Costa Rica, where several continental plates meet. Their research suggests that the conditions in the seafloor in that location are also likely to increase the risk of tsunami in the event of a tectonic shift.

The findings could help identify other coastal fault lines around the world that pose a higher risk of tsunami.

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  1. Nature Geoscience 10, 935–940 (2017). doi: 10.1038/s41561-017-0013-4
Institutions Share
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), UoM, United Kingdom (UK) 0.21
INGV Sezione di Tettonofisica e Sismologia (L'Aquila), Italy 0.14
Faculty / Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.14
Faculty / Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Japan 0.14
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom (UK) 0.14
Department of Earth Sciences, RHUL, United Kingdom (UK) 0.07
Department of Earth Sciences (DST), UNIFI, Italy 0.07
Department of Geosciences, UNIPD, Italy 0.07