Plate tectonics and marine hazards

Seafloor topography of a subduction zone off the coast of Costa Rica. Source: GEOMAR.

Dynamic processes beneath the seafloor can cause natural hazards (such as earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions) that affect people living in coastal areas. A better understanding of the processes involved in the movement of tectonic plates is required in order to assess these hazards and to identify the early warning signals that precede such natural disasters.

News for topic: Plate tectonics annd marine harzards

35 million years ago, an asteroid struck the east coast of North America. Ejected material from the impact site was distributed over an area of at least 7 million square kilometres (Tektite field). In drilling samples taken from the sea floor 400 kilometres from the point of impact (ODP 1073), researchers have now found clear traces of the impact and dated them for the first time using the uranium-thorium-helium technique. Image reproduced from the GEBCO world map 2014,

Space exploration on the sea floor

Traces of an extraterrestrial impact event detected in marine sediments

Along the North Anatolian Fault, Anatolia and the Eurasian Earth Plate push past each other. Image reproduced from the GEBCO world map 2014,

Istanbul: Seafloor study proves earthquake risk for the first time

GeoSEA sensors document tectonic strain build-up below the Sea of Marmara

The research vessel SONNE in front of Ritter Island during the expedition SO252 in autumn 2016. Photo: Christian Berndt/GEOMAR

Precursors of a Catastrophic Collapse

Ritter Island gives new insights into the dynamics of volcanic landslides