(ORDO NEWS) — Seismologists from the US Geological Survey found several more submarine faults that were previously unknown. They are located near the epicenters of earthquakes that occurred in southern Puerto Rico.
Thanks to these results, specialists will be able to compile a fairly accurate picture of tectonic activity in this area and understand what kind of pushing forces can take place in the near future.
The agency said that it was these faults in the seabed that could have caused a series of shocks, the first of which were recorded on December 28 last year. They could also provoke a sufficiently strong earthquake in January of this year. It is worth noting that the seismologists were not surprised by the fact of earthquakes, but by the area where they were recorded.
Puerto Rico is located on the active border between two huge plates – North American and Caribbean. It is worth noting that the Caribbean plate shifts towards the east by two centimeters each year and at the same time there is also a noticeable slippage of the plates.
Scientists studied historical data on earthquakes and found that tremors in Puerto Rico were recorded in the 15th century. But then most of the earthquakes occurred in the northern part of the island, and not in the southern.
Now the cause of what has happened has been established, because it is faults that are the main cause of shocks in the southern part of Puerto Rico.
“Previously, there were thoughts that there was a whole system of faults near the southern coast, but there was no evidence of this. They appeared only after the seabed was investigated.”
Such a statement was made by geophysicist-researcher Uri ten Brink. It is worth noting that the inhabitants of Puerto Rico have not yet had time to fully recover from the terrible hurricane Maria and now they are waiting for a completely new danger, information about which is too little today.
According to preliminary conclusions, it can be said that at least one fault under water can be present in Guayanilla Bay. It may even be a continuation of the fault that is present on land.
Previously, it was also possible to identify two more large faults, which are located at a depth of 15 and 7 km from the coast. There are also faults in those places that were previously called the epicenters of the last shocks.
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