You’ve no doubt heard about the fault we’re lying on that is a mortal lock to shake the earth to the tune of the worst natural disaster in human history, right? I mean, you’ve all read about it, because the Cascadia fault is coming to kill us all. Fortunately we won’t be alone, as the Riasi fault in the Himalayas is also due for a humdinger.
Tucked under the Kashmiri mountains that separate Pakistan and India, the fault has been known for quite some time, but now a study with help from OSU researchers has discovered the fault to be much scarier than previously thought.
Yann Gavillot was lead author on the study and did much of the work while a doctoral student at OSU. He commented on the results of the study which were recently accepted in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.
“What we set out to learn was how much the fault has moved in the last tens of thousands of years, when it moved, and how different segments of the fault move,” said Gavillot in a press release, continuing, “What we found was that the Riasi fault is one of the main active faults in Kashmir, but there is a lack of earthquakes in the more recent geologic record.”
A major event on the Riasi fault could have disastrous effects for the nearly 2.2 million people who live directly around it. The Kashmir region has long been known for strife and division between Pakistanis and Indians, and it would clearly be a shame if the thing that brought them together was a major disaster with mass casualties.
“The fault hasn’t slipped for a long time, which means the potential for a large earthquake is strong,” said Gavillot. “It’s not a question of if it’s going to happen. It’s a matter of when.”
By Sidney Reilly