Quick Answer: How fast is the East African Rift moving?

The Arabian plate is moving away from Africa at a rate of about 1 inch per year, while the two African plates are separating even slower, between half an inch to 0.2 inches per year, according to Macdonald.

How fast is the East African rift rifting?

A narrow zone, the rift is a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary where the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two tectonic plates, called the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate, at a rate of 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in) per year.

What is happening at the East African Rift Valley?

Large crack in East African Rift is evidence of continent splitting in two. A large crack, stretching several kilometers, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse and was accompanied by seismic activity in the area.

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How fast is the Somali plate moving?

Somali Plate
Movement1 south-east
Speed1 6 mm/year
Features East Africa, Madagascar, Indian Ocean
1Relative to the African Plate

Is Africa really splitting apart?

Scientists say a new ocean will form in Africa as the continent continues to split into two. … It is an active continental rift that began millions of years ago, splitting at 7mm annually.

How deep is the East African Rift Valley?

Valles Marineris reaches depths of up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) and spans about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) long. That’s about 20% of the diameter of Mars itself! With so much volcanic and tectonic activity going on there, the East African Rift Valley is a potent power source.

What if the African continent broke apart?

As the plates continue to pull away from each other, the rift valley will sink deeper and deeper, and water from the Red Sea will flood in to create a new ocean. Africa will become a lot smaller, as parts of southern Ethiopia and Somalia will drift off to form a new island.

What will eventually happen if a Rift Valley continues to pull apart?

If these two rift zones continue they will break apart the crustal plates they are located on and will create new plates. Sea water will flood the rift valleys and they will eventually become seas like the Red Sea.

What caused the East African Rift Valley to form?

The East African Rift is one of the great tectonic features of Africa, caused by fracturing of the Earth’s crust. … The Somalian plate—which is moving away in the other direction—lies to the other side and includes the Horn of Africa.

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What will happen if the East African rift continues?

If these motions continue, plate models (mentioned below) suggest that Africa would rotate clockwise and eventually crash into Europe in 50 Ma in the future. The rift is growing at a rate of one inch per year through the upwelling of magma underneath the continental crust (see Fig.

Are Saudi Arabia and Africa moving apart?

Red Sea rifting began in the Eocene, but the separation of Africa and Arabia occurred approximately 25 million years ago in the Oligocene, and since then the Arabian Plate has been slowly moving toward the Eurasian Plate.

How old is the African plate?

Between 60 million years ago and 10 million years ago, the Somali Plate began rifting from the African Plate along the East African Rift.

African Plate
Approximate area 61,300,000 km2 (23,700,000 sq mi)
Features Africa, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea

Are the Somali African and Arabian plates are all moving away from each other?

The Arabian Plate is rifting away from the African plate along an active divergent ridge system, to form the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. … In time, as Nubian and Somalian plates move further away from each other, the area between them will grow thinner and drop below sea level.

How long before Africa splits?

It’s thought that Africa’s new ocean will take at least 5 million to 10 million years to form, but the Afar region’s fortuitous location at the boundaries of the Nubian, Somali and Arabian plates makes it a unique laboratory to study elaborate tectonic processes.

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Where is Africa breaking apart?

The African continent is slowly separating into several large and small tectonic blocks along the diverging East African Rift System, continuing to Madagascar — the long island just off the coast of Southeast Africa — that itself will also break apart into smaller islands.

Why is Africa divided?

This conference was called by German Chancellor Bismarck to settle how European countries would claim colonial land in Africa and to avoid a war among European nations over African territory. … All the major European States were invited to the conference.

Across the Sahara