Earthquake News

New Study Reveals Warm Liquid Spewing from Seafloor Could Provide Insight into Oceanic Trends and Earthquake Risks

A study on the discovery of warm liquid pouring from the seafloor off the coast of Oregon was just published by University of Washington researchers. The "Pythias Oasis" underwater spring is a special source of knowledge about the connections between marine activity and faults like the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Scientists might learn more from the site's studies regarding the connections between marine activity and earthquake dangers.

Deborah Kelley, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, claims that the study has repercussions for how earthquake activity near the coast is examined. According to Kelley, the finding may aid in the better understanding of subduction zone behavior, where these perpendicular faults exist, in both the US and the oceans across the globe.

Calculations indicate that the fluid coming from the Cascadia megathrust, which is where it is exiting the seafloor, is 9 degrees Celsius warmer than the surrounding seawater. The seeps are situated near fractures where silt and pieces of oceanic crust flow past one another. Less fluid implies more stress can build up since it functions like a leaking lubricant in the fault zone.

The discovery does not impact the current risk of a major earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, according to the researchers, who claim that the feature itself does not cause earthquakes. According to emergency management in Washington state, there is a 15 to 25% possibility that an earthquake may occur along the CSZ in the following fifty years.

In order to better understand how the system is responding to climate change, the researchers are particularly curious about the rise in nearby sea life over time. There are other reasons to investigate these systems, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane, as Professor Kelley noted.

During a delay brought on by bad weather while traveling on the RV Thomas G. Thompson, Pythias Oasis was first discovered. The heated liquid was discovered oozing from the seafloor close to Newport, Oregon, and it seems to originate from water 2.5 miles beneath the surface of the ocean, at a plate boundary for the Cascadia fault.

The study offers insightful information on regional and worldwide oceanic trends and may aid in scientists' understanding of the connections between oceanic activity and earthquake hazards. On April 18, 2023, the University of Washington revealed the results of their investigation. The original article was written by Erica Zucco and can be viewed on the KING 5 News website.

Ready to retrofit?

Let’s make your home safer

Get a professional evaluation

Call 206-352-5644

Sound Seismic
7543 15th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117

Contractor's license # SOUNDSL836ND

© 2024 Sound Seismic
Seattle Website Design