What caused the formation of the East African Rift Zone?

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 was the East African Rift Valley 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 formed around 25 to 30 million years ago, whereas the western branch formed only 10 to 15 million years ago — or at least that’s what scientists thought.

What is causing the East African Rift?

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 caused Africa’s Great Rift Valley?

Geologists know that the Rift Valley was formed by violent subterranean forces that tore apart the earth’s crust. These forces caused huge chunks of the crust to sink between parallel fault lines and force up molten rock in volcanic eruptions.

What type of plate boundary is the East African Rift?

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.

How is a 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. … Two arms of the triple junction can split to form an entire ocean.

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 is the East African Rift is an example of?

Plate tectonics is a good example of this. But every now and again something dramatic happens and leads to renewed questions about the African continent splitting in two. The Earth’s lithosphere (formed by the crust and the upper part of the mantle) is broken up into a number of tectonic plates.

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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.

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.

Which is the longest rift valley in the world?

List

World Rift/Valley Length
Earth Great Rift Valley 6,000 km (3,700 mi)
Canadian Arctic Rift System 4,800 km (3,000 mi)
West Antarctic Rift System
Midcontinent Rift System 2,000 km (1,200 mi)

Does the Great Rift Valley have volcanoes?

The Great Rift also hosts one of the strangest volcanoes on planet earth.

Why the Great Rift Valley in Africa is a good example of divergent convergence?

Great Rift Valley (The Best Example of a Divergent Boundary) … In a southwest direction, the fault continues as the Great Rift Valley, which split the older Ethiopian highlands into two halves. In eastern Africa, the valley divides into the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift.

Is the East African Rift a divergent boundary?

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.

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Is the East Pacific Rise a divergent boundary?

The East Pacific Rise is a “divergent” plate boundary, where huge slabs of the Earth’s crust (plates) are moving away from each other.

Is Yellowstone a divergent boundary?

Yellowstone is situated with a tectonic plate not a plate boundary.

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