With the advancement of technology and the collection of data, scientists are able to compare methods that help to understand what happened on Earth thousands of years ago. As such, archaeologists have found evidence of the largest known earthquake in human history – a terrifying 9.5-magnitude earthquake.
According to the study, the huge earthquake triggered a tsunami of 8000 km length and caused the displacement of the population to nearby coasts for 1,000 years.
The earthquake occurred about 3800 years ago in what is now northern Chile, when the rupture of tectonic plates lifted the coast of the region. The subsequent tsunami was so powerful that Create waves up to 20 meters high and travel to New Zealandwhere he threw stones the size of a car hundreds of kilometers inside, the material that the researchers found.
A massive earthquake in Chile in 1960 killed more than 6000 people
So far, the biggest earthquake ever was an earthquake 1960 Valdiviawhich struck southern Chile with a force of between 9.4 and 9.6, killing 6,000 people and sending tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean.
The rupture that caused the Valdivia earthquake was massive, extending over 800 kilometres. But, as the scientists explain in their paper published April 6 in the journal science progressthe newly discovered massive earthquake was even larger, coming from a ruptured about 1000 km.
Tension between tectonic plates leads to devastating seismic waves
Like Valdivia earthquake, the old earthquake was massive seismicThe most powerful earthquakes in the world. These earthquakes occur when one of the Earth's tectonic plates is forced or submerged under another.
Friction of the two plates ends together, but the forces that caused the plates to collide continue to build. Eventually, the massive tension at the point of contact between the plates ruptures, creating a massive rupture, releasing energy in the form of devastating seismic waves.
Evidence for the giant earthquake has been found in marine and coastal elements — such as coastal sediments (rocks, pebbles and sand indigenous to coastal areas), marine rocks, shells and marine life — that researchers found displaced deep in the Atacama Desert, in Chile.
Not only did we find evidence of sediments and fossils of marine animals that would have lived peacefully at sea before being dumped, but we also found all of this at very high points and within the continent, so it couldn't have been a storm that put them there.
The British University geologist said, James Goff.
How did scientists know the age of the evidence?
To get a better idea of what brought these sediments away from the sea, researchers used radiocarbon. This method involves measuring the amounts of carbon-14, an isotope of radioactive carbon, that is present within a substance to determine its age.
Like the Carbon 14 is found everywhere on Earth, sediment easily absorbed during formation. The half-life of carbon-14, or the time it takes for half of it to radioactively decay, is 5,730 years, making it ideal for scientists who want to go back to the last 50,000 years of history by checking how much carbon-14 isn't present. decompose that substance has.
after dating 17 deposits in seven separate drilling sites over 600 km Off the northern coast of Chile, researchers have found squeezing coastal material out of place indicating that it washed inland about 3,800 years ago.
Other evidence has also emerged in the form of ancient stone structures excavated by archaeologists. These human-built stone walls were found lying under tsunami sediments, some of which were lying flat, pointing towards the sea, suggesting that Strong tidal wave currents.
There was nothing left for the locals there. Our archaeological work found that massive social upheaval arose when societies moved inland, out of reach of the tsunami. It was more than 1,000 years before people returned to live on the coast, an amazing amount of time since they depend on the sea for food.
Conclusion about the consequences unanimously. if in the past, 3800 years ago the Pacific islands were 'uninhabited'In the case of Chile, the country suffered a significant impact. However, these islands are all now inhabited, and many are popular tourist destinations.
When such an event occurs the next time, the consequences could be dire unless we learn from these results.
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