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This giant crack in the Earth puts 4 million people at risk

Anna OnishchenkoWorld
Seattle fault threatens 4 million people

Scientists are warning about the threat posed by the Seattle Fault. This geological fault has long been a subject of concern for experts because of its ability to cause devastating earthquakes and claim countless lives.

During the study, a team from the Washington Geological Survey found out why this fault was formed. They told Sci Tech Daily more about this phenomenon.

The Seattle fault is a series of cracks in the Earth's crust that cross the Puget Sound lowlands. According to oral traditions of local indigenous peoples and geological evidence, it became visible in 923-924 AD.

Today, this phenomenon creates a risky situation for 4 million people living in the vicinity due to the high probability of powerful earthquakes.

Scientists believe that the fault was formed about 55 million years ago when volcanic islands, some of which now dot the horizon, collided with the North Atlantic plate.

This giant crack in the Earth puts 4 million people at risk

Some of them went underground, while the rest rose. This created a huge load on the earth's crust, causing it to weaken and move apart. This ancient fault zone likely laid the geologic foundation for the modern Seattle fault.

In 1700, an approximately 1,000-kilometer-long rupture of the subduction zone created a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 8.7 to 9.2. This was followed by several smaller earthquakes in the 1990s.

Studies show that the fault can still cause an earthquake of magnitude 7.2. Thus, the understanding of how the fault was formed will help scientists and locals prepare for future natural disasters.

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