Vanished Reading Answers And Question

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  • IELTS reading Summary Completion
  • IELTS reading Matching Sentence Ending
  • IELTS reading Multiple Choice Questions

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IELTS Reading Passage – Vanished


Who blocked off the plug on the Mediterranean? And could it possibly happen again? By  Douglas Mclnrris Cannes. Monte Carlo. St Tropez. Enchanting names all. And a significant contribution comes from the magnificent blue water that laps their coasts. But what if somebody cut off the plug? Assume The Mediterranean Ocean vanished, leaving a salt desert the size of India in its place. Tough to consider? It happened.From the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, one of the leaders of the team that discovered the Mediterranean had once dried up, then replenished in a deluge of Biblical proportions. Bill Ryan says, ‘It would have resembled Death Valley.’ The Messinian Salinity Crisis – A wrenching series of extinctions and the onset of an ice age were caused by a global chemical imbalance, which occurred between five and six million years ago as a result of the vast desiccation.

When geologists discovered that major rivers flowing into the Mediterranean had eroded deep canyons in the rock at the bottom of the sea, The first indications of some exceptional previous events appeared in the 1960s. River erosion of bedrock cannot occur below sea level, however the Rhone River in southern France carved a 1000-metre-deep tunnel into the seabed, while the Nile created a roughly 1,500-metre-deep channel into the bedrock off the coast of Africa. There was more: although the formation of caves can only take place above water, scientists have uncovered a whole network beneath the island of Malta that reached an astounding depth of 2000 metres below sea level.

In 1970, when an international team travelled the Mediterranean in a drilling ship to investigate the seabed near the Spanish island of Majorca, further evidence was revealed. Core samples started to reveal unusual occurrences: More than two kilometres beneath the current sea level, tiny plants and soil are trapped between beds of salt. The plants grew under direct sunshine. Also found inside the rock were fossilised shellfish from shallow water, as well as salt and silt: Particles of sand and mud that were originally transported by river water. Could the bottom have ever been close to the coast?This issue inspired Ryan and Kenneth Hsu, his co-team leader, to put together an astonishing sequence of occurrences. They found that the Mediterranean was progressively blocked off from the Atlantic Ocean around 5.8 million years ago, when continental drift wedged Morocco against Spain. As the gap narrowed and swallowed, the deep outward flow from the sea to the ocean was gradually cut off, leaving only the shallow inward flow of ocean water into the Mediterranean. When this water drained, the sea became progressively salty, and organisms that couldn’t withstand the increasing salt concentration perished. Ryan says, ‘The sea’s interior was lifeless as a doornail, except for bacteria’. The Mediterranean dried up and died when the shallow entrance at Gibraltar ultimately closed entirely, enabling only rivers to nourish it.

In the meanwhile, the evaporated water returned to Earth as rain. As fresh water entered the oceans, it lowered their salinity. Parts of the ocean that would not ordinarily freeze started to do so since there was less salt to act as an antifreeze. According to Ryan, ‘Sunlight is reflected into space by the ice’. ‘The planet cools. Do you bring about an ice age by yourself?In the end, a minor break in the Gibraltar dam interrupted the process. The seawater created a narrow path to the Mediterranean. As the chasm deepened, the water flowed faster and faster, until the torrent tore across the newly formed Strait of Gibraltar at more than 100 knots. Hsu said in his book The Mediterranean was a Desert that the Gibraltar Falls was 100 times larger than Victoria Falls and 1,000 times more magnificent than Niagara (Princeton University Press, 1983).

In the end, the massive inland sea’s swelling waves submerged the falls, and warm water started to escape to the Atlantic, warming the seas and the earth. Around 5.4 million years ago, the salinity problem ended. It lasted around 400 000 years. Ryan and Hsu’s thesis has been complicated by subsequent drilling expeditions. For instance, Scientists have found salt layers that are more than two kilometres deep – so thick, they argue, that the Mediterranean must have periodically dried up and refilled. Yet, they are only geological details. For visitors, the essential issue is whether or not it may occur again. Should Malaga start stockpiling dynamite?Not just yet, says Ryan. If continental drift does ultimately reseal the Mediterranean, it will require millions of years to do so. Some future creatures may confront the problem of how to react to the extinction of nature. That is not anything about which our species must be worried.

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Questions 1-5

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Circle the correct letter in

1. At the end of the article, Ryan suggests that

  • the Mediterranean will never dry up again.
  • humans will have the technology to prevent it drying up again.
  • the Mediterranean is certain to dry up again one day
  • humans will never see the Mediterranean dry up,

2. According to the text, the events at Gibraltar led to

  • permanent cooling of the Earth.
  • the beginning and the end of an ice age.
  • the formation of waterfalls elsewhere in the world.
  • a lack of salt in the oceans that continues to this day.

3. What, according to Ryan and Hsu, happened about 5.8 million years ago?

  • Movement of the continents suddenly closed the Straits of Gibraltar.
  • The water level of the Atlantic Ocean gradually fell.
  • The flow of water into the Mediterranean was immediately cut off.
  • Water stopped flowing from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

4. More recent studies show that

  • Ryan and Hsu’s theory was correct in every detail.
  • The Mediterranean was never cut off from the Atlantic.
  • it may have been cut off more than once.
  • it might once have been a freshwater lake.

5. Why did most of the animal and plant life in the Mediterranean diet?

  • The water became too salty.
  • There was such a lot of bacteria in the water
  • The rivers did not provide salt water.
  • The sea became a desert.

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Questions 6-10

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

The 1960s discovery of 6. __________ in the bedrock of the Mediterranean, as well as deep caves beneath Malta, suggested something strange had happened in the region, as these features must have been formed 7. ___________ sea level. Subsequent examination of the 8. _________ off Majorca provided more proof. Rock samples from 2000 metres down contained both vegetation and 9. _________ that could not have lived in deep water, as well as 10.__________ originally transported by river.

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Questions 11-13

Complete each of the following statements with the best ending from the box

11. The excess ice did not absorb the heat from the sun, so ________
12. The velocity of the water from the Atlantic increased as ________
13. The Earth and its oceans become warmer when __________

  • Africa and Europe collided into each other.
  • water began to pour from the Mediterranean.
  • The sea became separated from the ocean.
  • all the fish and plant life in the Mediterranean died.
  • the Earth began to become colder.
  • The channel grew bigger, creating the waterfalls.
  • all the ice on earth evaporated.

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Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Answers for Vanished answers

1. Answer: D
2. Answer: B
3. Answer: E
4. Answer: C
5. Answer: A
6. Answer: deep canyons
7. Answer: above
8. Answer: seabed
9. Answer: shellfish
10. Answer: silt/sand and mud
11. Answer: E
12. Answer: F
13. Answer: B


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