Recently, the University of Washington revealed that it had spotted several holes formed at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, at the level of the Cascadia fault. A strange and disturbing discovery.
During an exploration, scientists from the University of Washington encountered an unprecedented phenomenon at the bottom of the ocean . A discovery they documented in their study published in the journal Science Advances. In the words of Evan Solomon, geologist of the seabed, it is a phenomenon “never observed before”!
They discovered the formation of holes at the level of the fault of Cascadia, from which leave a hot liquid which is not insignificant. As a reminder, the Cascadia fault is a subduction zone, extending from Vancouver Island to northern California, where the Juan de Fuca plate is sinking under the North American plate. An area extremely guarded for decades because of its possible danger, despite its apparent calm.
If hot springs exist in various places on Earth, what comes out of these holes marked on the Cascadia fault is not insignificant and worries scientists: “ Bubbles of methane but also water coming out of the seabed like a fire hose” details the geologist in a press release.
As a general rule, the reserve of hot water acts as a lubricant between the two plates, making it possible to reduce the friction between the rocks. Here, the problem is that if the hot water escapes, the lubrication becomes less efficient.
Thus, if the fluid pressure becomes lower, the two plates may lock. Such a phenomenon would have terrible consequences since the pressure would accumulate and lead to a very dreaded earthquake, estimated at magnitude 9, followed by several tsunamis which could reach 30 meters in height.
The Cascadia Fault has been under high surveillance for several years for this very reason. And the discovery of these holes only reinforces the anxiety it provides. The last major earthquake caused by this subduction zone dates from the year 1700.