Scientists have discovered undersea landslide in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The remains of the slip, known as the Gloria Knolls Slide, were discovered 75 kilometres off the north Queensland coast while the scientists were working from the Marine National Facility’s blue-water research ship Southern Surveyor.
A debris field of large blocks, or knolls, and numerous smaller blocks, lies scattered over 30 kilometres from the main landslide remains, into the Queensland Trough, to a depth of 1,350 metres.
A sediment sample from a knoll at a depth of 1,170 metres identified a remarkable cold—water coral community of both living and fossil cold—water coral species, gorgonian sea whips, bamboo corals, molluscs and barnacles.
It is thought that it may have triggered a huge tsunami more than 300,000 years ago.