Sunday 21 January 2018

New island that appeared out of the ocean

An island that rose from the sea following an earthquake is pictured off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea
An island that rose from the sea following an earthquake is pictured off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea

Dean Nelson

AS villagers in Pakistan's remote Balochistan province despaired at nature's savagery, neighbours on the Arabian Sea coast at Gwadar gazed in wonder at its creation: a new island, "Earthquake mountain".

Observers who visited the island by boat described a 40ft-high, 300ft-wide mass of rock, mud, seaweed and dead fish. Its surface was cracked and emitting methane gas. Scientists from Pakistan's National Institute of Oceanography said the island was not the first of its kind along the Gwadar coast, and was unlikely to remain above sea level for very long.

Mohammed Danish, a geologist who had visited the island, explained how it was created. "There is an abundance of methane gas near the Gwadar coastline where this phenomena has occurred due to the underwater shifting of tectonic plates, related to the earthquake.

"Wherever there is a weak zone in the ocean bed, such frozen gas hydrates are released when earthquakes happen, and push the mud below surface to form dome-shaped structures above the water," Mr Danish added. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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