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

Schematic evolution of retrogressive slope failure due to overpressured gas below the gas haydrate stability zone (GHSZ): a submarine slope with gas hydrate-bearing sediments  and overpressured gas (bright area) at the bottom of the GHSZ induces pipe generation into the GHSZ,  the conduit encounters a permeable layer; gas enters and leads to overpressure transfer from the bottom of the GHSZ to the shallow subsurface, and finally overpessured gas causes shear banding in the weak layer and generates retrogressive slope failure.

Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides

"Cement of continental slopes" effect slope stability differently than previously thought

Bathymetric map of the the Cap Blanc landslide. Map: Morelia Urlaub/GEOMAR

Why the seafloor starts moving

Kiel marine scientists find possible cause of landslides off Northwest Africa

In summer 2017 30 ocean bottom seismometers were deployed from the French research vessel POURQUOI PAS? into the Ligurian Sea. During the current journey, they are recovered to evaluate the recorded data. Picture: Catherine Prequegnat/CNRS

Alpine research in the Deep Sea – how does that fit together?

GEOMAR investigates the ‘Ligurian Knot’ as part of the AlpArray project