Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A continent splits apart

This is just too cool for words.
Normally changes to our geological environment take place almost imperceptibly. A life time is too short to see rivers changing course, mountains rising skywards or valleys opening up. In north-eastern Africa's Afar Triangle, though, recent months have seen hundreds of crevices splitting the desert floor and the ground has slumped by as much as 100 meters (328 feet). At the same time, scientists have observed magma rising from deep below as it begins to form what will eventually become a basalt ocean floor. Geologically speaking, it won't be long until the Red Sea floods the region. The ocean that will then be born will split Africa apart.

Basically, Africa will lose its horn once the land slumps enough to let the ocean in.

Visit the link. There's a lot more there, including photos and maps.

Thanks to Centerfield for pointing out this story.

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