Research: A humongous piece of rock below Japanese land is the reason behind earthquakes

Fareeha Arshad
Photo byPhoto by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

The subduction of the Japanese southern coast has been because of the Kumano pluton, a dense igneous rock. Lying more than three miles below the Kii Peninsula of Japan, this rock is above the continental Eurasian plate. Below this layer is the oceanic Philippine plate that moves near the planet’s mantle through subduction.

As per a recent study, the large layer present in the Eurasian plate has caused modifications in the slope of the dive and has forced a steeper shift in the Philippine plate. Also, the pluton lies very close to the epicentres of two of the biggest earthquakes of the 1940s that travelled in opposite directions but left the pluton unharmed. Researchers have been curious as to why the earthquakes did not overlap in the region and why pluton was not affected all this while.

Scientists believe that this giant piece of rock could be responsible for causing the two earthquakes while disallowing them to meet up. Also, because it is very close to the land’s surface, the pluton is crucial in determining how water flows from the oceans towards the mantle.

The pluton layer has resulted in the Philippine oceanic plate being two times steeper and therefore permits the flow of seawater towards the crust and mantle layer of the planet. The presence of water within the mantle layer triggers natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

As per the study, researchers have noticed that the southern Japanese Kumano pluton layer appears like a giant reddish structure in a 3D visualization report. The giant rock is present within the crust of the continental Eurasian plate. Exactly below this is where the Philippine plate is moving closer to the Earth’s mantle’s surface because of the seawater.

Researchers believe that with further studies on understanding high-resolution 3D models of Earth, we will be able to comprehend how the subduction zones play a crucial role in earthquakes.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State

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