Pakistan Earthquake Creates a Mud Volcano Island

Pakistan Earthquake Creates a Mud Volcano Island

On Tuesday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of western Pakistan, killing more than 260 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. It also triggered formation of a new island off the coast, which has quickly become a global curiosity. But scientists say the island won't last long.

Read more from National Geographic: How Did the Pakistan Earthquake Create a Mud Island?

Read more and view additional images (such as the one at the bottom of this page) at NASA Earth Observatory: Earthquake Births New Island off Pakistan

“The island is really just a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up,” said Bill Barnhart, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey who studies earthquakes in Pakistan and Iran. “This area of the world seems to see so many of these features because the geology is correct for their formation. You need a shallow, buried layer of pressurized gas—methane, carbon dioxide, or something else—and fluids. When that layer becomes disturbed by seismic waves (like an earthquake), the gases and fluids become buoyant and rush to the surface, bringing the rock and mud with them.”

Read more about the details of the earthquake on our site: Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.7 Earthquake in Pakistan

Pakistan Earthquake Epicenter