The Big One? Huge earthquake rocks the Atlantic Ocean | Science | News

A massive earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale struck in the early hours of Thursday, November 30.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres below the ground. 

The earthquake was more than 1,400 kilometres from the nearest land – which was Brazil – there have been no injuries and there has been no tsunami warning issued.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the tremor was along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – a mid-ocean range that separates the Eurasian and North American plates in the northern hemisphere and the South American and African plates in the southern hemisphere.

The Mid-Atlantic ridge is also the longest mountain range in the world which extends for around 10,000 miles.

With four plates colliding in this area, it is one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

Recently, scientists have announced that devastating earthquakes could be on the rise next year as the rotation of Earth slows down.

The speed of Earth’s rotation fluctuates extremely mildly – extending or decreasing the length of a day by a millisecond – but this tiny deceleration could have devastating consequences. 

Scientists have warned if the rotation slows it could lead to more major earthquakes. 

Research from Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula looked at earthquakes with a magnitude higher than seven since 1900.

The duo found five years since the turn of the 20th century where there were significantly more 7.0 earthquakes – all of which were years that earth’s rotation speed had slowed down slightly.

And in 2018, the Earth’s rotation speed is set to slow down leading to a jump on the six magnitude seven or higher quakes we have had this year. 

Prof Bilham said: “The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year.

“The inference is clear. Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes.”

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