Taiwanese Canyon Is Expected To Disappear In 50 Years

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A gorge off of the Daan River in Taiwan that was created by an earthquake in 1999 is already quickly vanishing due to accelerated erosion.

A gorge off of the Daan River in Taiwan that was created by an earthquake in 1999 is already quickly vanishing due to accelerated erosion.

Typically such a process takes thousands of years, but researchers say this river valley could be gone without a trace within 50.

Much of that has to do with the unique circumstances surrounding its formation.

In 1999 a rock table was pushed upwards about 30 feet from the Earth’s surface.

Initially it blocked the flow of the river, but within 5 years the water had carved out a path through the naturally occurring barricade.

The point of entry created was 90 degrees, which caused the water to hit the soft rocks at a very abrasive angle.

That, combined with the regular flooding of the Daan River results in about 60 feet of the gorge’s walls eroding every year.

The destructive flow offers a possible explanation as to why so little evidence of previous massive earthquakes exists in the region.

Unfortunately, it also makes predicting future tremors and identifying fault lines very difficult.

One advantage of the fast deterioration is the unique opportunity it offers for erosion studies.

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