Something weird is happening underground in Granada

Chinese research team makes remarkable discovery in southern Spain

by admin
Big Granada initiative

Granada is at the centre of a remarkable scientific discovery, thanks to the work of a Chinese research team. This team analysed seismic data from the western Mediterranean and adjacent southern Spain.

Particular attention was paid to the consequences of five earthquakes that have hit the region in recent decades.

Not just any plate collision

The research shows that under the Mediterranean Sea, it is not so much a collision between two tectonic plates. Rather, it is a case of one plate sliding under the other. The African and Eurasian plates are moving towards each other, causing the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea to gradually slide beneath Europe. This phenomenon is fascinating in itself, but the situation under Granada turns out to be even more complex.

The unique situation in Granada

According to the findings of the Chinese researchers, the situation in Granada is particularly complicated. Seismic waves recorded during the 2010 earthquake indicate that the slowing of the waves occurred at the bottom of the plate sliding beneath the Eurasian Plate, rather than at the top. This indicates a rapid shift of the ocean floor beneath the Eurasian plate. A significant amount of water is transported to the Earth’s mantle. This process would ensure that the plate remains relatively cool.

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An inverted lithosphere beneath Granada

What is most striking, however, is that part of the tectonic plate has not only shifted under the Eurasian plate but has also turned over. It has absorbed water. In other words, deep beneath Granada, there is an upside-down piece of oceanic lithosphere. Ocean lithosphere is the outer part of the Earth that includes the oceanic crust and the upper part of the mantle. Together these form the hard and rigid outer layer of the Earth beneath the oceans.

What does this discovery mean?

This finding challenges the previous understanding of tectonic processes. Moreover, it could have significant implications for the geology, hydrology, and seismic risks of the region in southern Spain. It also contributes to a better understanding of the risks of earthquakes in the region. It also emphasises the importance of international cooperation in scientific research and the need for continuous monitoring of seismic activity.

Also read: These are the areas in Spain most vulnerable to earth quakes

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