Major Earthquakes Can Cause Sea Level Rise Faster Than Global Warming : An Australian Study

Sea Level Rise

Image: Bloomberg

We are already aware of the fact that our earths sea level is continuously rising due the climate change, but do you know that Earthquake is also one of the reason for sea levels to rise at faster rate in comparison to climate change. Yes you heard it right, as per the study published in the "Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth", it is revealed that Earthquake is also one of the cause of danger to some Pacific Islands nations.

Land Subsidence

In September 2009 an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck the Coast of Samoa Island, following the earthquake soon a Tsunami crashed on the shores of  island leaving the ruins in Samoa. This results in the rise of sea level in Samoa five times the global average due to land subsidence. Land subsidence is the sudden sinking or gradual downward settling of the grounds surface with little or no horizontal motion.

Like other islands and coastal areas of the world, Samoa and American Samoa are also facing tragic encroaching waters because our warming world is continuously raising the level of sea. Though the researchers discovered that Pacific islands are also sinking but currently their main concern is for American Samoa, where the team estimates that around next 50-100 years, local sea level rise up to 1 feet.

Australian study leader and professor Shin Chan Han of University of Newcastle said that " Everybody is talking about climate change issues, but they overlooked the impact of the earthquake and associated land subsidence". With the help of images and other data collected from space, professor Shin Chan Han showed and claimed that "In the 8 years following the earthquake, the land subsided in American Samoa at a rate of 16 mm per year, compared with 8-10 mm per year in Samoa".

Shin Chan Han called for governments to look into this matter as soon as possible and reassess their countries sea level predictions affected by earthquakes over 8.0 magnitude. He further added that "Tectonic movements can greatly influence the rate of sea level rise and should be considered in addition to climate induced changes".
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