KaiserScience

Africa

africa atlas

Africa is way bigger than you think

 

The continent of Africa is splitting

Figure 4. A view taken from Da'Ure's (Dabbahu's) new pumice dome looking S down the fissure vent on 16 October 2005, with people for scale. Part of the outer flank of Dabbahu is visible on the right side of the photo; Dabbahu's central area lies farther to the right off the margin of the photo. Courtesy of Anthony Philpotts

Figure 4. A view taken from Da’Ure’s (Dabbahu’s) new pumice dome looking S down the fissure vent on 16 October 2005, with people for scale. Part of the outer flank of Dabbahu is visible on the right side of the photo; Dabbahu’s central area lies farther to the right off the margin of the photo. Courtesy of Anthony Philpotts

Baringo scarps, Kenya, Africa

This image shows several fault scarps that are progressively farther away. Essentially we are looking at the edges of several horst blocks from within a graben that contains Lake Baringo.
Image © Alex Guth
http://geology.com/articles/east-africa-rift.shtml

East Africa showing some of the historically active volcanoes (as red triangles) and the Afar Triangle (shaded at the center), which is a so-called triple junction – where three plates are pulling away from one another:
the Arabian Plate and two parts of the African Plate—the Nubian and Somali—splitting along the East African Rift Zone.  {Wikipedia, East African Rift, 2015}

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Colored Digital Elevation Model. NASA Image.

Colored Digital Elevation Model. NASA Image.

So what is going on under the ground, which is making this happen?
” in plate tectonics, the formation of an ocean starts with a rifting process in the crust as a result of mantle convection. A valley forms like the African Rift Valley beeing a recent example. In the next stage, the valley has opened up until sea water enters; a good example is the Red Sea. The spreading process continues, the ocean becomes wider and forms a mature ocean like the Atlantic.”

Another similar process

 

Graben and rift formation

 

 

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