Scientists discover ancient undersea landslide in Australia

Scientists discover ancient undersea landslide in Australia

An international team of scientists have discovered evidence of a massive ancient undersea landslide close to Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The Gloria Knolls Slide, which could also have triggered a tsunami, occurred nearly 300,000 years ago. It was 32 cubic kilometers in volume, or nearly thirty times the size of Uluru, a rock landmark in central part of Australia.

The researchers discovered the ancient landslide while conducting 3-dimentional mapping of the Queensland Trough’s ancient reefs. The Queensland Trough is a big basin adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.

Lead researcher Dr. Robin Beaman, of Queensland-based James Cook University, said they found a cluster of hills, or knolls, more than 1,100 meters beneath the surface.

Sharing what they discovered, Dr. Beaman said, “What we discovered was the smoking gun … It was quite clear that those knolls were the remains of a very large undersea landslide that had occurred some time ago.”

The researchers reported the discovery of evidence of the ancient undersea landslide in the most recent edition of the journal Marine Geology.