Scientists warn that the Atlantic Ocean may be engulfed in a “ring of fire”

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Scientists warn that the Atlantic Ocean could “soon” be swallowed up by a vast series of colliding tectonic plates dubbed the “Ring of Fire”.

Geologists from the University of Lisbon in Portugal observed in a recent study that the tectonic plates beneath Africa have been sliding beneath the plates beneath Eurasia for about 30 million years. Published in the journal “Geology”.

As this downward trend continues, the so-called Gibraltar Trench — located beneath the 10-mile-long Strait of Gibraltar that separates Spain and Morocco — will expand westward, forcing the continents closer and closer, until the Atlantic Ocean disappears entirely. Scientists found.

Scientists from the University of Portugal have warned of the possibility of the Atlantic Ocean being swallowed by tectonic plates. Noah

The process may have already begun, despite claims by other scientists that the trench is inactive.

“We have good reason to believe that the Atlantic Ocean is starting to close,” said lead scientist Professor João Duarte. He told the Daily Mail.

He and his colleagues set out to investigate the long-term motion of the Gibraltar Trench, which Duarte described as an “invaluable opportunity” to observe how the African plate moves beneath the Eurasia plate “in its early stages when it's just happening.” he He said in a statement.

The team created a computer model to track changes in the trench since it formed in the Oligocene epoch between 34 million and 23 million years ago.

About 30 million years ago, the Gibraltar Trench formed when the tectonic plates beneath Africa began sliding beneath those beneath Eurasia. Getty Images

They found that plate subduction is not as inert as geologists thought, but instead has moved at a slow rate over the past five million years.

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But over the next 20 million years – which they said is “close” in geological terms – the trench could quadruple in size.

Scientists said it is currently thought to be about 125 miles long, but could be up to 500 miles long.

Geologists thought that the African plate had stopped sliding, but researchers found that it was moving at a slow rate. Andrea Dante/Shutterstock

The expansion would then trigger a chain reaction, forming a new subduction zone in the Atlantic Ocean called the “Ring of Fire,” like the one that formed in the Pacific Ocean.

The study found that as the plates continued to move, the ocean floor would sink and the continents would clump together.

“The oceans seem eternal to our lives, but they don't stay here for long: they are born, they grow, and one day they come closer,” the researchers said in a press release announcing their findings.

During this time, there may also be more earthquakes such as the one that struck Lisbon in 1775.

The historic earthquake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and killed nearly 12,000 people, nearly destroying the Portuguese capital and its surrounding areas in the process.




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