Geologists working in Ethiopia have found that a 60-meter-long canyon is steadily expanding and will allow a new ocean to form — one which will bisect the African continent.
The shifting of molten rock beneath the Earth's surface initially caused the rift in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia and, as those underground eruptions are continuing, the rift will continue to widen — and, in about 10 million years, create a vastly different Africa.
Dr. James Hammond, a seismologist from the University of Bristol, says that parts of the region are below sea level and the Indian Ocean is only cut off by about a 20-meter strip of land in Eritrea:
"Eventually this will drift apart.... The sea will flood in and will start to create this new ocean. It will pull apart, sink down deeper and deeper and eventually... parts of southern Ethiopia, Somalia will drift off, create a new island, and we'll have a smaller Africa and a very big island that floats out into the Indian Ocean."
(Via BBC News)
Send an email to Marc Bernardin, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The crack in the world that will split Africa in two