A HUGE tear the size of Tasmania in the Earth’s crust sitting above the deadly Ring of Fire could cause devastating earthquakes and mega-tsunamis, experts have warned.
The tear on the sea floor, which is some 60,000 square kilometres in size and sits over the Ring of Fire, has been confirmed north of Australia.
The Ring of Fire is the largest and most active fault line in the world, stretching from New Zealand, all around the east coast of Asia, over to Canada and the USA and all the way down to the southern tip of South America.
There have been numerous deadly earthquakes this year alone across the Ring of Fire, including in Japan, Peru and New Zealand and the discovery of a massive tear above it will only increase fears that a huge tremor is on its way.
While the huge tear, which is actually an exposed fault, has been known about for 90 years, experts have been unable to figure out how it got there.
The tear, known as the Banda Detachment, was formed when one tectonic plate slid under another, ultimately sinking the Earth’s crust into the mantle.
However, a sudden slip now could lead to one of the largest earthquakes in history and spark mega-tsunamis.
The researchers hope the discovery can help prepare for tsunamis and earthquakes.
Australian National University lead researcher Jonathan Pownall said: “Our research found that a 7 km-deep abyss beneath the Banda Sea off eastern Indonesia was formed by extension along what might be Earth’s largest-identified exposed fault plane.