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Researchers find huge cliff near epicenter of Japan's 2011 great earthquake


Researchers say they have found a huge cliff in deep waters near the epicenter of Japan's 2011 earthquake – a magnitude-9.0 quake that struck off the northeast coast of Honshu.

The group of researchers consists of scientists from Japanese Niigata University and other overseas universities and research centers.

The scientists used the manned-submersible "Limiting Factor" to explore the seabed about 7,500 meters deep in the Japan Trench, off Miyagi Prefecture, last September.

The survey discovered that a nearly vertical cliff with a height of about 26 meters was created near the epicenter. The group believed that the powerful earthquake could have caused a fault to slip deep under the seabed and move up about 60 meters, with the upper part believed to have emerged as a cliff. Also, understanding details of seabed changes triggered by earthquakes can create tsunami simulations more accurately in the future.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit the northeast coast of Honshu on the Japan Trench. A tsunami that was generated by the quake arrived at the coast within 30 minutes, resulted in over 15,000 deaths, and thousands of victims were never recovered.

The deadly earthquake was of the largest magnitude ever recorded in Japan. 

(Cover: The manned-submersible "Limiting Factor" is hung next to a ship in the Japan Trench, off Miyagi Prefecture in September 2022. /CCTV)

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