The forces that trigger rifts in the surface are still poorly understood. Pictured is the Great Rift Valley, Tanzania This superplume is not only a widely-accepted source of the pull-apart forces that are resulting in the formation of the rift valley but has also been used to explain the anomalously high topography of the Southern and Eastern African Plateaus. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. As rifting continues, Earth will exhibit a large island in the Indian Ocean. These plates are not static, but move relative to each other at varying speeds, 'gliding' over a viscous asthenosphere. A piece of East Africa is expected to break off the main continent in tens of millions of years. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse and was accompanied by seismic activity in the area.
The enormous crack appeared on March 19 and measures more than 50 feet 15 meters wide and several miles along, Face2Face Africa and other news sources reported. Eventually, over a period of tens of millions of years, seafloor spreading will progress along the entire length of the rift. As for the other content on this channel we assure you it is strictly only used under Fair Use. Evidence for the existence of this hotter-than-normal mantle plume has been found in geophysical data and is often referred to as the 'African Superswell'. Rifts exhibit a very distinctive topography, characterised by a series of fault-bounded depressions surrounded by higher terrain. While scientists have known for quite some time about the rifting in Africa, the underlying cause has been.
This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up. Stretching for over 3,000 km from the Gulf of Aden in the north to Mozambique in the south, it marks where the African continent is being split into the Somali and Nubian plates. However, rifting is a very slow process that, most of the time, goes about splitting Africa without anybody even noticing. Yearly subscription Subscription options You'll receive your ad-free account for 20x faster browsing experience , clean interface without any distractions, ability to post comments without prior editorial check, all our desktop and mobile applications current and upcoming ad-free and with the full set of features available, a direct line of communication and much more. So this will happen in the next 50M yrs. This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up.
But with several other cracks occurring along northeastern Africa. This means that in around 10 million years, a new ocean will emerge as the rip continues to tear East Africa apart. The giant crack tore the busy Mai Mahiu-Narok road in two and split apart houses, including the home of a 72-year-old woman who was eating dinner with her family when it happened, according to Face2Face Africa. Rather, they started in northern Ethiopia about 30 million years ago and spread southward toward Zimbabwe at an average rate of between 1 and 2 inches 2. The red triangles show historically active volcanoes. Plate tectonics is a good example of this. When this happens, a new ocean will begin forming by the solidification of magma in the space created by the broken-up plates.
However, a long, vertical piece of eastern Africa lies on top of the Somali Plate. Dramatic events, such as sudden motorway-splitting faults or large catastrophic earthquakes may give continental rifting a sense of urgency but, most of the time, it goes about splitting Africa without anybody even noticing. Volcanism and seismicity are limited. This active rift zone is currently spreading at few millimeters per year. Activity along the eastern branch of the rift valley, running along Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, became evident when the large crack suddenly appeared in south-western Kenya. This process is accompanied by surface manifestations along the rift valley in the form of volcanism and seismic activity. The East African Rift Valley stretches more than 3,000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south, splitting the African plate into two unequal parts: the Somali and Nubian plates.
An example of a place on Earth where this has happened is the South Atlantic ocean, which resulted from the — ever noticed how their coastlines match like pieces of the same puzzle?. But every now and again something dramatic happens and leads to renewed questions about the African continent splitting in two. Volcanism and seismicity are limited. Tectonic plates are constantly in motion. Diagram of the East African rift system.
A massive crack that is up to 50-feet suddenly opened up in the ground in Africa. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse. While the Mount Dabbahu rift is still hundreds of kilometres inland, Ebinger says it could continue to widen and lengthen. Beneath this rift, the rise of a large mantle plume is doming the lithosphere upwards, causing it to weaken as a result of the increase in temperature, undergo stretching and breaking by faulting. In the East African system, a series of aligned rift valleys separated from each other by large bounding faults can be clearly seen from space. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions.
The East African Rift Valley stretches over 3,000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south, splitting the African plate into two unequal parts: the Somali and Nubian plates. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee. I describe it as a massive fissure in the ground! The split would tear Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and half of Ethiopia away from the rest of the continent. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. While it's one of the largest, the East African Rift isn't the only geological formation of its kind. Scientists believe that East Africa is breaking up.