According to the latest news, a mysterious phenomenon cracked ground in Michigan.
A team of scientists from Michigan Technology University in Houghton discovered a big crack in the ground of Michigan forest. The state of Michigan is believed to be aseismic as it doesn’t normally experience earthquakes.
When a strange quake provoked a huge split ground in Michigan’s Menominee Forest in 2010, both locals and researchers were left with many questions. However, at the moment, geologists think they discovered the cause of this event.
In a new research, a group of experts explain how the mysterious crack was possible. During the event, a massive crack was formed in the soil, while households in the neighborhood were shaken only in a magnitude -1 earthquake. However, experts claimed their statistics didn’t show any quake on October 4th, 2010.
Therefore, in the last five years the phenomenon in the Birch Creek forest remained a mystery. As locals reported, the crack was 360 feet long with a depth of five feet. Unusually, the rupture was surrounded by fallen trees on both sides. Many of them left behind their torn roots.
According to the experts, all the trees were inclined at the same angle which led them to conclude that the crack was recently made. The main author of the study, Wayne Pennington, stated the force behind this phenomenon was stronger than the trees’ roots.
This came as a big surprise for him and his team. Researchers excluded the possibility of an earthquake which led them to think the crack was caused by a rare geological anomaly called a ‘pop-up’. To prove the crack was indeed a pop-up scientists conducted seismic refraction tests. They blasted a sledgehammer towards a steel ball to produce artificial sounds.
Afterwards, researchers analyzed the rock patterns to see how sound waves affected limestone strata. Computer generated patterns revealed the limestone strata were split up by the aggressive pop-up. Such was the force of the event that it displaced the five feet wide clay layer.
In addition, experts said that no quake could have done this. In order to produce a crack like this it would take a stronger earthquake. After further analysis, they conclude that only a pop-up could have caused such rupture.
Nevertheless, Pennington noticed that the crack still remains a mystery because pop-ups normally occur when mining activities disturb massive quantities of rocks or when glaciers retreat. This, though, was not the case. It is said that the Mysterious Phenomenon which Cracked Ground in Michigan is to be further investigated.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia