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Muroto Geopark

Located on Shikoku Island in southwestern Japan, Muroto Geopark was once submerged by the sea. Its caves were formed underwater and were later uplifted by earthquakes which occur in the region every 100 to 150 years, sometimes triggering tsunamis that wash the coast away. Muroto Geopark is a living laboratory in a subduction zone – a place where one section of the Earth's crust descends below another. It comprises a record of dynamic movements brought about by the motion of tectonic plates. This tectonic process resulted in magmatic activity that created the dark, coarse-grained gabbroic rocks that form the Muroto Peninsula. In fact, Cape Muroto is being uplifted 1 to 2 meters per 1,000 years, which is one of the fastest rates of uplift in the world. Besides the obvious natural phenomena, the Geopark helps demonstrate the danger of large earthquakes and tsunamis and offers an example of prediction and protection through the use of state-of-the-art science and technology.