A 35-mile crack in the Ethiopian desert is currently the clearest proof. Since many decades, the tectonic future of the African continent has been documented, but recent satellite observations allow scientists to further interpret the process and provide important information to research the slow formation of a new ocean at one of the worlds most geologically unusual locations.
Christopher Moore, a PhD Physician at Leeds University, United Kingdom, who is utilizing satellite radar to track seismic activity in East Africa connected with the continent’s break-up, said, “This is the only way where you can research how continental fracture is becoming an ocean rivet.”
Africa ‘s latest ocean will be projected to last at least 5 million to 10 million years, but the fortuitous position of the Afar Region on the boundaries of the Nubian, Somali and Arab plates render the analysis of dynamic tectonic processes a special laboratory. Earth’s crust consists of a dozen wide tectonic plates, irregularly formed, stone plates that continuously crush, crawl, slip through, or spread apart.
The Arab centre has pushed further from Africa over the last 30 million years, establishing a cycle between the two intertwined landmasses between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. However, the plate of Somalia, which extends through Ethiopia and Kenya, in eastern Africa still spreads from Nubians, peeling through the East-African Rift valley.
Through the course of time, these rifts will restructure the continent of Africa. The Afar area has various surface boundaries, but the combined powers of these separated plates establish what is regarded as the middle-ocean ridge network, where a new ocean would gradually arise.
At varying rates, the three plates are divided. In Africa, the Arab plate is around 1 inch per year, although the two African plates, according to Macdonald, are divided much smaller, half an inch to 0.2 inches each year. The rifting cycle may take place at a glacial rate, but scientists agree there are strong indicators of this change. The substance travels further into the soil and creates an oceanic layer on the banks as the plates break away.
Data Source: NCB news