According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, scientists have discovered a volcano that collapsed 73,000 years ago at Cape Verde Islands causing a mega-tsunami more than 800-feet high. Dr. Richard Ramalho, Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and his team made the discovery.
Scientists study the massive boulders on the highlands of Santiago Island, and they appeared to have been lifted over to over a 600 foot cliff. The only force that could have lifted the boulders would have been a tsunami. The Fogo Volcano, the most active and the world’s largest, stands at 2,829 meters (9,300 feet) above sea level, and an eruption last year was reported to be one of the strongest on the islands.
“It doesn’t mean every collapse happens catastrophically,” said lead author Ricardo Ramalho.
Though these collapses can happen extremely fast and can trigger giant volcanoes, Ramalho added that they don’t happen very often. However, researchers must take this account when they think about the hazard potential of these kinds of volcanic features. Ramalho urged that the study should not be taken as a red flag that another big collapse is imminent here or elsewhere.
Apart from boulders, scientists came across large amounts of marine fossils scattered about the thousands of feet above sea level. Scientists believe that only a massive wave could have washed them into dry land. The tsunami that happened 73,000 years ago could have been caused when the eastern flank of Cape Verde’s Fogo Volcano slid into the sea. Younger volcanoes with high heights of the slopes, can cause earth shattering collapses to create a mega tsunami.
The last major tsunami occurred on March 11, 2011, after a massive earthquake in Japan. Mega-tsunamis triggered by volcanoes can be a major threat to life on earth, and an active volcano like Fogo can also set off a plank collapse at anytime.
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