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The (Not So) Fortunate Islands

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Author Topic: The (Not So) Fortunate Islands  (Read 405 times)
Gwen Parker
Superhero Member
Posts: 4515

« on: June 21, 2007, 04:58:31 am »

The waters surrounding the Canaries are a true paradise for divers, and certainly not only because of the underwater fauna and flora. It seems like the same volcanic surface we find on the islands continues under water: volcanic rock formations, caves, tunnels, lava reefs. This shows that at some point in history volcanic eruptions and lava floods
changed the appearance of the ocean bottom in this region, maybe even hiding traces of Atlantis under a tick layer of
lava. Lanzarote, for instance, experienced in the 18th century a 6 years long volcanic eruption, altering a significant
part of its surface. Furthermore little is known about the ‘original’ ocean floor: it’s not exceptional for large parts to slide under the mantle again and disappear in the burning depths of the earth. In this process, deep trenches are formed in the ocean. This could have happened in the Canary region as well.
But how dangerous is this area geologically? And are disasters likely to happen there again? Unfortunately the
answer seems to be yes. In an article that appeared in the Guardian Newspaper in August 2001 British and US scientists warn that an eruption of the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma could cause one of the worst disasters in the history of mankind. In that article we read:

“A lump of rock twice the volume of the Isle of Man would slide down theunstable western flank of the mountain at more than 200mph and travel up to 40 miles along the sea floor. This would set off the worst tsunami, or giant wave, ever recorded.” (The Guardian, August 29, 2001)

The damage would be enormous, probably worse than we could ever imagine, easily reaching the African coast and the South of Europe with Portugal and Spain. Buildings would be swept away like card houses. Of course the
Canaries themselves wouldn’t be spared either. Simon Day of the Benfield Greig geohazard research centre at University College London said:

“The first wave is going to come in, maybe take out the first few blocks, take the debris away, flatten the ground.
The next wave takes out blocks progressively further inland. Over a large part of the area that is inundated, you will
be seeing near-total destruction."

Tsunamis are active in the complete water mass from the ocean floor all the way to the surface, unlike regular waves
that only affect the water near the surface. Therefore these giant waves tend to start going faster in deeper parts of the ocean . If this is possible today, it’s certainly an option that at the end of the last Ice Age in this highly volcanic zone tsunamis of the same kind took place, triggered by volcanic eruptions and seismic activity. This could have meant the end of Atlantis, and following Dr. Simon Day’s statement about the effects of the waves, it is not such a big surprise that today we find none or only a few traces of this once great civilization. The remains of Atlantis could be widely spread on the ocean floor by the power of the water, perhaps covered with lava, sand and rocks.


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