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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Once an Ocean, Now an Island

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, September 29, 2013/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, environment

waveWe often forget what a dynamic bit of rock we live on circling the Sun. A reminder of this geological fact-of-life occurred when an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale struck Baluchistan in northwest Pakistan on September 24th.

Three images captured
by NASA's Earth Observing satellite show Pakistan's Markan coastline before & after and the new island that emerged ~1 mile offshore.

Markan Coast before Earthquake, Pakistan         Coast after Earthquake  (credit: NASA)

According to NASA and USGS geologists: “The island is a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up. The main driving force for islands here is highly pressurized methane gas. On the new island, there is a continuous escape of the highly flammable methane through a number of vents.”

The island may disappear almost as soon as it was formed as the methane geysers and  gas vents stop belching and Indian Ocean waves erode away the loose mud and rocks.
We live on a very active world, indeed.


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