back to article Researchers find massive mud flow off African coast

It happened 60,000 years ago, so we'll concede that we're a bit late with the news, but scientists have uncovered evidence of the largest ever flow of sand and mud, off the coast of north-west Africa. Researchers report in Nature that over the course of mere hours, or days, some 225 billion metric tonnes of sediment was dumped …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Global warming strikes again!

    No doubt this was caused by human induced global warming...

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ho hum.

    Cue the God squad flaming you for daring to suggest that anything happened 60,000 years ago.....

  3. Jamie Bodkin



  4. Brian Squibb
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Hilton

    Was this Paris Hilton washing off her makeup?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Turbidity currents

    Ah this takes me back to long cold wet geology fieldtrips along the coastline of Cardigan Bay which is largely made up of 400 million year old mudflows called turbidites or greywackes. Possibly the ugliest rock in the world.

    These underwater landslides pose a real threat to submarine cables (and you were wondering when the IT angle would be along). The 1929 Newfoundland Banks (Magnitude 7.2) earthquake dislodged a series of huge turbidity currents (estimated at 200km3) that severed 12 TransAtlantic cables. The times of the breaks are precisely known, so it was also possible to work out the speed - about 60mph.

    There's a short movie of a simulated current at:

    Oh and they're dangerous to humans, a current can also trigger tsunamis, such as the Storegga slide mentioned in the article around 6000BC which would have put a 20m tsunami over most of the Scottish North Sea coast. This is a real threat in many places because the edges of the continental shelves are piled high with sediments dumped by rivers and glaciers during the last glacial when sea levels were much lower. Even a small quake could set this waterlogged sludge slip-sliding its way down the continental shelf. Which means that we have to think of tsunamis in areas that aren't normally affected by plate tectonic movements - such as the North Sea and the Atlantic coast of Canada.

    I choose Paris as my icon because she slides down on a regular basis.

  6. zedee


    ---caused by human induced global warming...

    Must have had some fairly humungous fires in the mouths of our caves eh? :)

    I'll get me skins.....

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Must have been the Flood!

    More evidence that God exists!

  8. Pablo Barboza Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    and this slide that occurred 60000 years ago is relevant to you, or me, or anybody (besides the guy that get paid for researching it) because... ¿?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Mud Slide Video

    Mike Richards wrote:

    > There's a short movie of a simulated current at:



    This was the winner of the 2005 "most boring video on the internet" competition. Mind you, this was before YouTube really got going.

    Why am I wasting my Friday work time watching this when I could be wasting it elsewhere...

  10. Bill Fresher

    Mud Slide Video

    One of the mud slide videos has got the hand of God in it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not caveman induced global warning

    It was a bunch of 120 foot long, 40 foot high precursor hippos deciding to party in the same mud bath.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    It's Bush's fault

    Just ask Al Gore, and the rest of the apologists...

  13. charlesQuarra

    Preglacial cilivization evidence may be buried underwater

    So, if any preglacial cilization thrived over those shores, the archeological evidence may be lying buring on the ocean floor, but since we dont usually dig in the mid of the ocean floor (at least as usual as we do above the ground) then this explains why there preglacials civilizations didn't exist!

  14. Nìall Tracey

    Hey, I can't find....

    I can't find the preglacial mudslide (pgmp) in the unit converter. How many Bulgarian wotsits is that?

  15. John Latham

    Lucy, Lucy...

    "...the Storegga slip off the coast of Norway also has it beat."

    "Has it beat"? What kind of English is that?


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Turbidity currents By Mike Richards

    Aha. Cardigan. There’s a nice turbidite deposit near Tebay on the edge of the lake district which I visited last summer with the OU. There’s an overhang with the casts of flute marks.

    I think I’ll give up while I’m still ahead.....

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