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Crack suggests that Africa is splitting in two

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One Ring to Rule Them All
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« on: April 01, 2018, 02:02:07 pm »

Crack suggests that Africa is splitting in two
Posted on Sunday, 1 April, 2018


Will there eventually be two African continents ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 hanonimas
A huge crack that opened up in Kenya recently has indicated the beginnings of a new continental split.
The crack, which opened up in Kenya's Rift Valley following heavy rains and seismic activity last month, measures around 50ft wide, 50ft deep and is several miles long.

Africa is known to sit on two continental plates - the Nubian plate and the Somali plate - with the dividing line being the East African Rift - a 3,000km stretch from the Gulf of Aden to Zimbabwe.

The two plates have been drifting apart at a rate of 2.5 centimeters per year and eventually the continent is likely to split in to two parts - turning a large chunk of eastern Africa in to an island.

While there is nothing that can be done to stop it, a complete break-up of the continent along the East African Rift is going to take an extremely long time - possibly even tens of millions of years.

Nonetheless - last month's activity shows that, even now, this process can have a significant impact.
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One Ring to Rule Them All
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2018, 02:05:04 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 02:05:47 pm »

Is Africa Splitting Into Two? Sudden Appearance Of Massive Crack In Kenyan Valley Proves It Could
1 April 2018, 10:13 am EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
A massive crack suddenly appeared at Kenya's Rift Valley after heavy rains and seismic activity. Is this the beginning of the continent's split into two?   ( DailyNation | YouTube )

Is Africa on the verge of splitting into two? A massive crack suddenly appeared in Kenya's Rift Valley, leading experts to believe that it could be the beginning of a new continental split.
Massive Crack In African Valley

Last March 19, a massive crack was discovered in Kenya's Rift Valley after heavy rains and seismic activities. The crack measures over 50 feet wide, over 50 feet deep, and a few miles long, looking like the earth in the area has split. Some reports even state that the crack is still growing longer.

The split has torn the Mai Mahiu-Narok road apart and split several houses into two as well. One affected resident is a 72-year-old woman who was reportedly having dinner with her family when her house split into two. So far, government authorities filled the torn section of the road with rocks and cement to keep the major road functioning.

African Plate Tectonics

The Earth's lithosphere is separated into tectonic plates, which continue to move at varying speeds even though it is not entirely apparent on the surface. Such movements can cause the plates to rupture, form rifts, and create new boundaries.

Evidently, while most of the African continent sits on the African or Nubian plate, a large piece of eastern Africa actually sits on the Somali plate. Where these two plates meet is the East African Rift, a 3,000-kilometer stretch from the Gulf of Aden to Zimbabwe. This rift is actually considered an active rift, as evidenced by its hotter-than-normal mantle plume.

According to geologist David Ahede, what's currently happening is the Somali plate moving slowly away from the Nubian plate at a rate of 2.5 centimeters per year. He believes that the origin of the movements is the Suswa volcano, which has a history of tectonic and volcanic activity and that this movement is not something that can't be stopped, as it is a geological process that happens deep beneath the Earth's crust.
A Breakup In 50 Million Years

Despite the disturbing appearance of the massive crack, experts state that the separation could happen 50 million years from now. According to postdoctoral researcher of the Fault Dynamics Research Group at Royal Holloway, Lucia Perez Diaz, such a serious continent change would likely cause seismic activity although these could occur in small magnitudes and spread across the rift. So while this sudden appearance of a massive crack that split a road and several homes may be an unnerving sight, the split may occur without too many dramatic events.
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 02:06:08 pm »

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/224166/20180401/is-africa-splitting-into-two-sudden-appearance-of-massive-crack-in-kenyan-valley-proves-it-could.htm
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