Why We Should Be Worried About The Leak In The Bottom Of The Ocean
by Trisha Leigh
When you think about the vastness of the earth’s oceans, you probably assume the bottom is part of the planet itself and can’t really, you know…leak.
According to scientists, though, that’s the best description of what’s happening as we speak.
Interestingly, geologists at the University of Washington say the hole is leaking water up into the ocean and not the other way around.
The hole has been dubbed Pythias’ Oasis and sits off the coast of Oregon in what’s known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone fault.
Even though it’s great that the water isn’t leaking out, the leak could be bad news for those in the region hoping to avoid coming earthquakes.
The water leaking out is largely fresh and rich in minerals, suggesting it could be some kind of tectonic lubricant, which means losing it could dislodge the plate beneath.
“Loss of fluid from the offshore megathrust interface through these strike-slip faults is important, because it lowers the fluid pressure between the sediment particles and hence increases the friction between the oceanic and continental plates.”
The leak was discovered back in 2015 after researchers noticed some odd bubbles on their sonar.
“They explored in that direction and what they saw was not just methane bubbles, but water coming out of the seafloor like a firehose. That’s something that I’ve never seen, and to my knowledge has not been observed before.”
It was the temperature of the water that suggested its origins to be the fault.
“The fluid is coming straight from the Cascadia megathrust, where temperatures are an estimated 300 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The operations of plate tectonics is a fairly new field of study, so we’re not entirely sure what it can tell us about what’s to come.
But I think it’s safe to say it doesn’t sound like anything good.