posted on Nov, 2 2009 @ 01:57 PM
Now I post quite a few Science related stories on ATS, I find them interesting but others don't seem to!
This one comes under that category!
African desert rift confirmed as new ocean in the making
In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the
beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial.
A new Ocean forming in the centre of Africa, now I really do find that coool!
Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those
at the bottom of the world's oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.
The new study, published in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of
tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of little by little as has been predominantly believed. In addition, such
sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events, says Cindy
Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study.
It doesn't say how the rift will form into an ocean, or where the water will come from, but it's still amazing.
It's not often in the history of Earth that people can say they witnessed the birth of a new Ocean!
From the British Geological Survey
A BGS team are mapping the geology of the Afar desert in northern Ethiopia — reputed to be the hottest place on Earth.
Afar is part of the volcanically and seismically active portion of the African Rift and is one of the few places on Earth where we can witness plate
divergence as the continental crust splits apart to form a new ocean.
The Afar Rift project aims to track the creation of magma (molten rock) from deep within the Earth, studying how it migrates and evolves as it rises
towards the surface. We will study how the surface of the Earth reacts as it is thinned and split apart and how the magma is intruded into this thin
crust to form the beginnings of a new ocean.
Afar Rift Consortium
So it looks like the Rift will widen, eventually splitting the continent, becoming an ocean.
(Thanks to fleetlord for bringing this image to my attention!)
But I'm pretty sure it's a few million years away yet, but I still find it interesting!
I'll be the only one as usual!
[edit on 2-11-2009 by kiwifoot]