Feeds

Researchers find massive mud flow off African coast

Sediment slunk 1,500km

SANS - Survey on application security programs

It happened 60,000 years ago, so we'll concede that we're a bit late with the news, but scientists have uncovered evidence of the largest ever flow of sand and mud, off the coast of north-west Africa.

Researchers report in Nature that over the course of mere hours, or days, some 225 billion metric tonnes of sediment was dumped into the ocean after a landslide 60,000 years ago. The flow of debris travelled 1,500km before grinding and squelching to a halt.

The team says that the landslide responsible for the flow was probably not the largest ever known, however: landslides off the coast of Hawaii are known to have been bigger, and the Storegga slip off the coast of Norway also has it beat.

But in terms of sheer scale, the 1,500km long, 150km wide trail of sediment is in a class of its own. Researchers estimate that the flow dropped into the sea is ten times the amount of sediment carried by every river in the world each year.

"If you look at the distance it travelled and how much material it moved, it was at least as big as many volcanic eruptions," co-author Peter Talling from the University of Bristol, UK, told the BBC.

The researchers say that the blocks from the landslide would have broken up and become suspended in the water, flowing down the edge of the land mass, through an undersea canyon, and out to sea. Only a lessening of the gradient of the sea floor finally put the brakes on the huge volume of mud.

Dr. Talling said it would have been similar to an avalanche, where snow barrels down mountains in massive, deadly clouds. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.