Tarry for the Nonce

March 15, 2006

Evidence of Pangaea?

Filed under: History — lmwalker @ 2:48 pm

Africa may be headed for a split:

The Afar Triangle, which cuts across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, is the largest construction site on the planet. Three tectonic plates meet there with the African and Arabian plates drifting apart along two separate fault lines by one centimeter a year . . .

Basalt magma has risen into some of the crevices . . . And it’s the exact same kind of lava that spews out of volcanic ridges deep under the ocean — a process which slowly pushes older lava sediments away on either side. The process has only just begun in the Afar Triangle — and scientists for the first time can witness the birth of a new ocean floor . . .

Geophysicists have calculated that in 10 million years the East African Rift System will be as large as the Red Sea. When that happens, Africa will lose its horn.

What exciting times! Too bad Wegener isn’t around to observe this continental drift.

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