SANTIAGO, Chile, July 29 (UPI) — The earthquake that struck Chile in February changed the country’s landscape and raised parts of its coastline more than 8 feet, researchers say.
While the coast lifted, other parts of the country inland dropped, especially in the north, LiveScience.com reported Thursday.
The 8.8-magnitude quake that struck south-central Chile was the fifth-largest temblor recorded by modern seismology and was the seventh 7-magnitude earthquake to hit the South American country since 1973, scientists say.
Researchers have confirmed the February quake ruptured a long fault running the length of the Chilean coastline, raising large areas of land in the south and sinking areas of surface in the north.
Their findings were published in the journal Science.
To scientists surveying the coast, the change is obvious.
“You can just see the sea shells and sea weed hanging in the air, about head high,” said Michael Bevis, a geophysicist at Ohio State University.
“You see all this stuff that belongs underwater is now up in the rocks.”
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.