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BANDA DETACHMENT FAULT IN EASTERN INDONESIA STUDIED




For the first time ever, geologists have identified and documented the Banda Detachment fault in eastern Indonesia and have studied how it must have formed. The abyss in the Banda Sea has been known for 90 years, but how it got so deep was unexplained until recently. The research identified a 7 km deep abyss below the Banda Sea which was created by an extension along the supposed- to- be biggest-identified exposed fault plane.

High-resolution maps of the floor of the Banda Sea were analyzed by the geologists from the ANU (Australian National University) and the Royal Holloway University of London. They found that the rocks at the sea floor have hundreds of straight parallel scars on them.

These cuts show that the existing ocean floor depression must have been created by the ripping off of a piece of crust larger than Tasmania or Belgium by 120 km of extension along a detachment fault or low-angle crack.

Dr Jonathan Pownall, the lead researcher from the ANU said that this finding will be of great help to researchers in knowing the dangers of future tsunamis in this region, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are frequent.


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