Africa is splitting in two, a huge rift in Kenya is the beginning

Africa is splitting in two, a huge rift in Kenya is the beginning

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The continents around the world fit together like a puzzle and if that is nothing new, there is a high possibility that Africa will split into two parts after a huge rift that split the continent in two.

The fault has been exposed and, according to geologists, is evidence of the division of the African continent in two during the next tens of millions of years. As it happened, the floodwaters created a rift that stretched for several kilometers near the Rift Valley town of Mai Mahiu, opening up a major highway and creating a deep ravine that sucked in cars.

Some scientists blame the seismic tremors and tectonic shifts that occur in the region, but many believe that there is no record of seismic activity, and such cracks can form through "pipes," a geological activity that occurs when heavy rains make that the softer layers of the subsoil bend. under pressure.

The East African Rift System (EARS), an active continental rift zone in East Africa, is part of the Great Rift Valley, stretching for thousands of kilometers, starting from the Gulf of Aden in the north to Mozambique in the south.

EARS is an actively developing rift, a process that will slowly thin the crust of the earth's lithosphere, extend the seafloor, stretch and break topography through faults, and eventually break the continent. Once this process is complete, most of Africa will remain on what is known as the Nubian Plate, while Somalia and parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania will form a new continent on the Somalia Plate. In recent years, the topic has been of great interest to scientists who have been studying how and why these two huge chunks of land are slowly pulling apart. Nor is it the first time that huge cracks have opened in the Horn of Africa region: Scientists have recorded new divisions in the Afar Triangle, which runs through Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Historically, this is the same process that led to the breakup of Africa and South America some 138 million years ago.

In one of the warmest places on Earth, along an arid stretch of the Afar region of East Africa, it is possible to stand at the exact spot where, deep underground, the continent is dividing.

This desolate expanse sits atop the junction of three tectonic plates that are very slowly moving apart, a complex geological process that scientists say will eventually split Africa in two and create a new ocean basin millions of years from now. For now, the most obvious evidence is a 35-mile-long crack in the Ethiopian desert.

The tectonic fate of the African continent has been studied for several decades, but new satellite measurements are helping scientists better understand the transition and offer valuable tools to study the gradual rise of a new ocean in one of the most geologically unique places in the world. planet.

"This is the only place on Earth where you can study how the continental rift becomes an ocean rift," said Christopher Moore, a Ph.D. PhD student at the University of Leeds in the UK, who has been using satellite radar to monitor volcanic activity in East Africa that is associated with the breakup of the continent.

Sources: and NBCNews

Video: Huge crack opens in Kenyas Rift Valley, Suswa, Africa splits in two, Africa is splitting in two (August 2022).