The East African Rift Valley (EAR) is a developing divergent plate boundary in East Africa. … The Nubian and Somalian plates are also separating from the Arabian plate in the north, thus creating a ‘Y’ shaped rifting system. These plates intersect in the Afar region of Ethiopia at what is known as a ‘triple junction’.
Is East African Rift convergent or divergent?
The East African Rift Valley is an example of a divergent boundary in an area of continental crust. It is one the geologic wonders of the world, a place where the earth’s tectonic forces are presently trying to create new plates by splitting apart old ones.
Is the East African Rift a convergent or divergent boundary What Sea is formed at this rift?
Millions of years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was connected to Africa. Seafloor spreading caused the Arabian and African plates to rift apart. The Indian Ocean flooded the rift valley between the continents, creating the Red Sea. Today, Africa and Asia are connected by the triangle of the Sinai Peninsula.
How the East African rift was formed?
The East African Rift Valley, as the region is known, formed where the Somalian and Nubian plates are pulling away from the Arabian Plate. The eastern branch of the rift passes through Ethiopia and Kenya, and the western branch forms a giant arc from Uganda to Malawi.
Why is the East African rift rifting?
Continental rifting requires the existence of extensional forces great enough to break the lithosphere. The East African Rift is described as an active type of rift, in which the source of these stresses lies in the circulation of the underlying mantle.
How fast is Africa splitting apart?
The three plates are separating at different speeds. 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.
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.
Which plates are a involved the East African Rift Valley?
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.
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.
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 deep is the East African Rift Valley?
It contains the Rift Valley lakes, which include some of the deepest lakes in the world (up to 1,470 metres (4,820 ft) deep at Lake Tanganyika).
Where is the East African Rift located?
East African Rift System, also called Afro-Arabian Rift Valley, one of the most extensive rifts on Earth’s surface, extending from Jordan in southwestern Asia southward through eastern Africa to Mozambique. The system is some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long and averages 30–40 miles (48–64 km) wide.
How is Rift Valley formed?
A rift valley is a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart, or rift. Rift valleys are found both on land and at the bottom of the ocean, where they are created by the process of seafloor spreading. … Tectonic plates are huge, rocky slabs of Earth’s lithosphere—its crust and upper mantle.
Is Africa breaking apart?
It is an active continental rift that began millions of years ago, splitting at 7mm annually. The regular eruption of volcanoes along the rift and new insights into the break up of continents adds to the belief that the continent may be splitting to form a new ocean.
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.
What if 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.