The Methane Monster Grows New Teeth: Sea Level Rise Found to Cause Slope Collapse, Tsunamis, Methane Release
(Image source: Sea-level–induced Seismicity and Submarine Landslide Occurrence.)
At the end of the last ice age as the climate warmed, glaciers began to thaw, and sea level began to rise, a troubling spike in the number of undersea landslides and related tsunami events occurred. In total, almost half of all the undersea landslides of the past 125,000 years occurred during this period of deglaciation occurring from 8,000 to 15,000 years ago. A rate many times that seen during either the glacial period or during the Holocene.
This large increase in subsea landslide events had long been observed in the science. But, up until this point, there has been little research to determine why so many landslides occurred. But this year, a team of scientists developed a model to investigate the cause of these continental shelf slope failures and large undersea landslides. The report, published in Geology, is available here:
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