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Massive Ancient Undersea Landslide Discovered in Australia
Evidence of a massive undersea landslide that took place more than 300,000 years ago has been discovered off the Great Barrier Reef (CCSS Level: Grade 10, Words: 264)
Feb 9, 2017 History
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Scientists were amazed to find remains of 300,000-year-old sediment slop while conducting 3D mapping of the deep sea floor 75 km off Australia's north Queensland coast. Scientists unearthed the remnants from the sediment collapse, estimated at 32 cubic km in volume, or 30 times the size of Uluru, a rock landmark in central Australia.

Large blocks, or knolls, and smaller blocks, lie scattered to a depth of 1,350 metres, more than 30 km from the main landslide remains of the slop known as the Gloria Knolls. The slide also provided clues about hidden marine life including a remarkable cold-water coral community of both living and fossil cold-water coral species, gorgonian sea whips, bamboo corals, molluscs and stalked barnacles.

"In an area of the Queensland Trough that was supposed to be relatively flat were eight knolls, appearing like hills, with some over 100 m high and 3 km long. We were amazed to discover this cluster of knolls, It was quite clear that those knolls were the remains of a very large undersea landslide that had occurred some time ago" said Dr Robin Beam, a James Cook University scientist.

The research, published in the journal Marine Geology, said the landslide had the potential to cause a large tsunami. Although modelling had put its elevation as high as 27 m, the impact of a tsunami would have been significantly offset by the presence of coral reefs. The future risk to the Queensland coast appeared unlikely because it was a "a very old event", but it was a worthy topic for future research.

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aid

help


n,v.援助

a-mazed

surprised


v.吃惊

ap-peared

be seen or became noticeable


v.出现

coast

the edge of the land where it meets the sea


n.岸边

col-lapse

fall down or in


v.塌方

com-mu-ni-ty

a group of people who share interests


n.社区

es-ti-ma-ted

roughly worked out or calculated


v.估计

fos-sil

what is left behind of a very old life form


n.化石

fu-ture

time still to come    


n.未来

hid-den

not seen or thought about


adj.隐藏    

im-pact

a strong effect


n.影响

in-clu-ding

containing, having as part of the whole


prep.包含

land-mark

an important feature that is easily seen and recognised


n.地标

lap

once around a race rack


n.圈

locks

a short piece of a canal in which the water level can be raised or lowered/a fastening (as for a door) operated by a key or a combination


n.锁/闸

ma-rine

to do with the sea


adj.海洋

oc-cur

happen; take place


v.发生

oc-curred

happened


v.发生

pre-sence

being present or stationed at a place


n.存在/光临

pub-lished

to put out a book for sale


v.发表

re-mark-a-ble

amazing, hard to believe


adj.卓越

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

risk

the chance of something happening


n.风险

rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


adj.粗暴

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

sig-nif-i-cant

important, standing out from the rest


adj.重大/有意义

sig-ni-fi-cant-ly

in a great or important way as to be worthy of attention


adv.显著

spe-cies

kinds or sorts of animal


n.种类

tsu-na-mi

a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake


n.海啸