Mysterious Hole Spotted In Pacific Ocean
Wed, 24 May 2023

Mysterious Hole Spotted In Pacific Ocean

Why in news ? Scientists discovered a hole in a 600-mile-long fault line in the Pacific ocean , citing fear that the strange leak can trigger an earthquake in the region.


  • There lies a hole at the Pacific Ocean’s bottom, and it has been steadily leaking liquid into the ocean. This hole is about 80 km off the Oregon coast, on the 965 km Cascadia Subduction Zone fault line that lies between northern California and Vancouver Island.
  • This hole could trigger a huge “megathrust” earthquake. This occurs when a tectonic plate moves below the other.
  • Researchers observed a stream of what appeared to be methane bubbles. In this region, methane seeps are common but it wasn’t only methane but a liquid was gushing out of the seabed like a firehose.
  • The “water” from the hole has a different composition from that of seawater. It is 9˚C warmer compared to water around the hole and is also more like freshwater rather than saltwater.

A stressful scenario

  • This liquid - located about four kilometres below the seabed — serves as a lubricant and pressure regulator between the tectonic plates. As the spring continues leaking, it puts greater stress on the fault line.
  • When the fluid pressure is significantly high, the air gets turned on, meaning there is less friction, and the two plates might slip. If the fluid pressure is lower, the two plates will lock. That is when stress can pile up.

What is the name of the hole?

  • The giant hole is named Pythias' Oasis, a mineral-rich spring located on the Pacific Northwest seafloor.
  • The spring's almost-fresh water prevents the plate on which it sits from shifting in a potentially dangerous way.


Where to use ?

Paper I (Geography Optional) : Physical condition of earth’ s interior, Plate tectonics, Bottom topography of Pacific Oceans

Paper II (Geography optional) : Contemporary issues (Earthquakes)

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