Torn African continent?

Generally, the formation of rivers, seas, or mountains occur in a very slow. However, cases that occurred in Afar, northern Ethiopia, another from another. An ocean began to take shape with remarkable speed, for standard sizes of geology.

In 2005, Dereje Ayalew and his colleagues who is a geologist from Addis Ababa University was surprised, and even fear. How not, they just got out of the helicopter and set foot on the desert plain in Ethiopia, when the earth shook beneath them.

Suddenly, the pilot shouted call them back to the helicopter, and sure enough. Immediately the earth divided. Ground cracks open and moving quickly toward the researchers like a zipper that opens.

After a while, the ground stopped moving, and after recovering from the shock, Ayalew and his colleagues realized that they had just witnessed history. For the first time, people can watch the first stage of the birth of an ocean.

Abnormal Phenomenon

Normally, the changes in the Earth’s surface barely noticeable. Human lifetime is too short to watch the river turn directions, mountains taller, or opening a new valley.

However, in Afar, in recent months appeared hundreds gap that separates the desert base. At the same time, scientists have found an increase in the height of magma from the Earth getting closer to the soil surface.

Magma would eventually form the basis of oceanic basalt. In geology, as quoted by Spiegel, 13 December 2010, not long after the water from the Red Sea region down to meet them. Ocean will be born and break Africa.

The phenomenon was witnessed dramatic Ayalew and his colleagues in the Afar desert on September 26, 2005 is clear evidence that process. The opening of the crack followed the earthquake that lasted continuously for a week.

Within a few months later, hundreds of other cracks appeared on the ground, spread in an area of approximately 900 square kilometers. “The earth does not stop moving after it,” said Tim Wright, a geophysicist from the University of Oxford. “The land continues to split and sink. Small earthquakes continue to shake the region, “he said.

Afar Triangle, which cuts Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti, is the largest cracks in the Earth. Underneath, there are three tectonic plates where the African and Arabian plates getting away with a speed of 1 to 2 centimeters per year. When two plates move away, land on it fell and provide space to accommodate the water from the Red Sea.

Tectonic movement

Earth’s plates are constantly moving resulted in the Afar Triangle sinking fast. Certain sections have declined by more than 100 meters below sea level.

Currently, the plateau that surrounds the decrease in Afar are still able to prevent the water from the Red Sea into the region. However, erosion and tectonic plate movement continues to reduce the height of a natural fortress. Not to mention the floods that regularly hit the region.

Africa is a source of magma flow in the giant soft rock inside the Earth and cut across the African continent. The process of magma movement was started about 30 million years ago when the first lava reached the continental shelf and then separating the Arabian peninsula to Africa and resulted in the Red Sea.

The series of volcanoes that line the approximately 6 thousand kilometers in the eastern part of Africa also provides evidence that the African continent was divided. In some parts, the crust of the earth has begun to open and allowing magma underneath merangsak ride.

From the Red Sea in the north, to Mozambique in the south, dozens of volcanoes have been formed. Nyiragongo Mount Kilimanjaro and is the second most popular.

According to geophysicist, in 10 million years into the future, active volcanoes, and also the plain area around the cracks Afar, it will eventually sink into the sea.


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