May Final Blog Entry

What makes this geographical location on Earth so special?

We couldn’t possibly have covered everything, but here are a few highlights…

We began with discussing tectonic plates, which is relevant to the past, current, and future physical geography unique to The Bermuda Triangle.

Our southern boundary begins in Miami, FL and roughly follows the fault line through the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles where the Caribbean Plate and North American Plate meet. It ends in San Juan, Puerto Rico, just south of the Puerto Rico Trench.

This is an important boundary because as the plates converge, the North American Plate is forced underneath the Caribbean Plate. The friction caused results in many of the important land formations currently found here.

This also helps explain the general lack of island formations within the remainder of The Triangle… not to mention major earthquakes & tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, underwater landslides, and rogue waves.

Puerto Rico Trench

  • Deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, reaching 5 miles straight down in some places.
  • Pull of gravity at sea level is less here than any other place on Earth (free air gravity anomaly), which may help explain trouble using compasses in the Triangle.
  • San Juan sits a few miles south of this deep oceanic trench, putting it at high risk for massive earthquakes, and its time is about due.

Bahamas

  • Stands alone in the middle of a vast ocean plane (which is a result of the flatness of the large North American Plate now covering it) at the western edge of the warm waters of the Sargasso Sea.
  • Many theorize that this is a “hot spot” or cluster of volcanic activity that occurred deep within the Earth’s crust and magma has managed to reach the surface because of plate movements.
  • The pink sand beaches native to Bermuda are caused by small, red invertebrates that live on this region’s coral reefs. Skeletons of the dead organisms wash to shore and mix with the naturally white sand beaches.

Around 200 million years ago, all land masses were joined together, and continental plates will continue to shift.

So how is this landscape likely look in the future?

-Sea levels are currently rising 3.5 mm/year.

-Two plates are converging at about 2 cm/year from both directions.

  • In 1,000 years…
    • Sea levels rise 3.5 meters, some islands are partly submerged and have shrunken in size.
    • Plates converge 20 meters
  • In 10,000 years…
    • Sea levels rise 35 meters, halfway to the top of the highest point in the Bahamas.
    • Plates converge 200 meters
  • In 1,000,000 years…
    • Sea levels rise 3,500 meters, well above the highest island points, though the Greater Antilles may gain elevation through plate convergence.
    • Plates converge 20,000 meters

The new world map (about 1000 years in the future) after sea levels rise.

The Caribbean Plate, including the land of the Greater Antilles could eventually become a new and larger landmass, with its entirety sitting above sea level upon the edge of the North American Plate.

The Atlantic Ocean continues to expand and “open up,” and the sea floor continues to spread apart, and the Puerto Rico trench widens.

Sea level rises above many existing island chains, potentially a large portion of America’s east coastline, and all of Florida.

Volcanoes and earthquakes occur and build new islands or shift current ones, which can also lead to tsunamis across the Atlantic.

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