The plate, known as the India-Australia-Capricorn tectonic plate under Indian Ocean, has started to split albeit slowly. Measuring about 0.6 inches or 1.7 millimetres, the plate will take one million years to have a split of 1 mile. It will be split into two and has already set into momentum what scientists call as “Earth’s changing forces.”
“It’s not a structure that is moving fast, but it’s still significant compared to other planet boundaries,” explained co-researcher of the study, Aurelie Coudrier-Curver; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Earth Physics, Paris.
The crack that occurred long ago propelled by natural causes has now deepened. Over time, any unusual movement of these plates can trigger catastrophic earthquakes. Additionally, data suggests that portion of the plate, known as the Wharton Bain, has previously caused earthquakes and are likely to set in motion more.
“Plates are constantly formed and destroyed on Earth,” Jagoutz told Live Science in an email. “It is detailed studies like these that will allow us to better understand how the jigsaw puzzle of plates that constitute the outermost solid layer of Earth formed and evolved.”
There are about 62 pull-apart zones under the Indian Ocean, and a few of these areas were undoubtedly huge, measuring about 1.8 miles wide and 120 metres deep. According to scientists, these gaps have been forming since 2.3 million years and had previously caused 2012 earthquakes.
The study has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.