New research in the Caribbean has found that earthquakes and volcanoes, known for their ability to transform Earth's surface, can also move ancient Earth rock foundations more than 1,000 miles.

Until now geologists thought the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, was relatively young from a geological perspective and rocks there should be no older than the Jurassic period, around 150 million to 160 million years ago.

Two University of Florida geologists are part of a team that found lavas on Hispaniola that suggest the area is underlain by rocks almost a billion years older than previously believed.

An article published recently on the Nature Geoscience website reports the team found that unusual lavas resulting from relatively recent volcanic activity had occurred in the region of the same fault system that caused the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The existence of this volcanic activity, which probably occurred less than 1 million years ago, postdates the previously known active volcanism in this part of the Caribbean by at least 40 million years.

Chemical analyses of the lavas showed compositions similar to lavas found inside stable interior parts of continents. Anss examination of the chemical data suggests that the source for these lavas is derived from mantle rock that originated at least 1,000 miles away, according to a University of Florida press release. — Our Bureau

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