official south african distributor of Liberty Walk. Further away from the rift axis, focal depths can reach depths of over 30 km (19 mi). The East African Rift Valley stretches over 3,000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south, splitting the African plate into two unequal parts: the Somali and Nubian plates. But although geologists now think that this feature is most likely an erosional gully, questions remain as to why it has formed in the location that it did and whether its appearance is at all connected to the ongoing East African Rift. Towards the Afar region, however, the entire rift valley floor is covered with volcanic rocks. They are characterized by greenstone belts, tonalites, and other high-grade metamorphic lithologies. This article was updated and the headline changed on April 7 to reflect ongoing discussion by geologists about the cause of the large crack that appeared on the East Africa Rift and whether its location is related to the African continent split. Eventually, it will rupture, leading to the formation of a rift valley. Colchester, Essex, Catherine Freeman Online talk: Prof Sir Andy Haines and Prof Chris Dye in Conversation: "Building back healthier: climate change, health and the recovery from Covid-19", Online talk: Prof Nathalie Seddon & Dr Steve Smith in conversation: "Value and limits of working with nature to address climate change", Essex Public International Law Lecture: The United Nations Security Council at 75, break up of South America and Africa around 138m years ago, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Snider-Pellegrini#/media/File:Antonio_Snider-Pellegrini_Opening_of_the_Atlantic.jpg. Since the 1990s, evidence has been found in favor of mantle plumes beneath the EAR. Exactly what mechanism or mechanisms are behind their movement is still debated, but are likely to include convection currents within the asthenosphere and the forces generated at the boundaries between plates. To the south, where the rift is young, extension rates are low and faulting occurs over a wide area. Africa Is South Africa drifting into a Civil War? The Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was an engagement in the Anglo-Zulu War.The successful British defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenants John Chard of the Royal Engineers and Gonville Bromhead, began when a large contingent of Zulu warriors broke off from their main force during the final hour of … Volcanism and seismicity are limited. This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up. [23], Active volcanos include Erta Ale, DallaFilla, and Ol Doinyo Lengai, the former of which is a continuously active basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Region of northeastern Ethiopia. in 2014 compare the geochemical signature of rare Earth's isotopes from xenoliths and lava samples collected in the EAR. [27], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}3°00′00″S 35°30′00″E / 3.0000°S 35.5000°E / -3.0000; 35.5000, An active continental rift zone in East Africa, GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre (June 8, 2020), "Continental break-up: The East African perspective", "One of Africa's Tectonic Plates Is Rotating in a Different Direction to All the Others", "Why the Victoria Plate in Africa rotates", "A catalogue of deep mantle plumes: New results from finite‐frequency tomography", "A common mantle plume source beneath the entire East African Rift System revealed by coupled helium-neon systematics", "Multiple mantle upwellings in the transition zone beneath the northern East-African Rift system from relative P-wave travel-time tomography", "Upper mantle earth structure in Africa from full‐wave ambient noise tomography", "Contrasted continental rifting via plume-craton interaction: Applications to Central East African Rift", "Plume-induced continental rifting and break-up in ultra-slow extension context: Insights from 3D numerical modeling", "Geology and Nonfuel Mineral Deposits of Africa and Middle East", "Great Rift Valley Ecosystem – UNESCO World Heritage Centre", List of countries where Arabic is an official language, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=East_African_Rift&oldid=998063273, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from March 2019, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 17:01. Albert Bvute, who jumped the border into South Africa over a week ago, has been stranded at Ha-Tshirundu since then. The East African Rift is unique in that it allows us to observe different stages of rifting along its length. — The majority of earthquakes occur near the Afar Depression, with the largest earthquakes typically occurring along or near major border faults. Initially, the appearance of the crack was linked to tectonic activity along the East African Rift. The cratons are thick, and have survived for billions of years with little tectonic activity. Towards the Afar region, however, the entire rift valley floor is covered with volcanic rocks. However, in East Africa most of this seismicity is spread over a wide zone across the rift valley and is of relatively small magnitude. 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. [7] The EAR transects through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. Twist the throttle to feel the power of the 100-watt, electric hub motor, then kick the action into high gear by kicking the back end out for some wild, freestyle drifting fun at speeds up to 14 km/h. Continental rifting requires the existence of extensional forces great enough to break the lithosphere. These plates are not static, but move relative to each other at varying speeds, “gliding” over a viscous asthenosphere. [23], The East African Rift Zone includes a number of active as well as dormant volcanoes, among them: Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Longonot, Menengai Crater, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Meru and Mount Elgon, as well as the Crater Highlands in Tanzania. This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up. isotope ratios and seismic velocities) it is constructive to test hypotheses on computer based geodynamical models. Not all of these fractures formed at the same time, but followed a sequence starting in the Afar region in northern Ethiopia at around 30m years ago and propagating southwards towards Zimbabwe at a mean rate of between 2.5-5cm a year. Photo courtesy of Fugitives’ Drift. (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s main stock index fell, tracking declines in Asian markets amid caution over virus-related curbs, including new measures announced locally on Monday evening. [3][4], As extension continues, lithospheric rupture will occur within 10 million years; the Somali Plate will break off and a new ocean basin will form. But every now and again something dramatic happens and leads to renewed questions about the African continent splitting in two. Share on Twitter. This superplume is not only a widely-accepted source of the pull-apart forces that are resulting in the formation of the rift valley but has also been used to explain the anomalously high topography of the Southern and Eastern African Plateaus. The students were on their way home, when the driver drove passed them. The border between Botswana and South Africa is 1,969 kilometres (1,223 mi) long. The Earth is an ever-changing planet, even though in some respects change might be almost unnoticeable to us. We are super excited to bring you Drift Trike Rentals on SA's 1st professional Drift Trike Circut. [2] The rift system consists of three microplates, the Victoria Microplate to the north, and the Rovuma and Lwandle microplates to the south. A large crack, stretching several kilometres, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya. — [6][8] Its movement is concurrent with the EAR.[9]. Postdoctoral Researcher, Fault Dynamics Research Group, Royal Holloway. The first stage of rifting of the EAR is characterized by rift localization and magmatism along the entire rift zone. The Earth’s lithosphere (formed by the crust and the upper part of the mantle) is broken up into a number of tectonic plates. [5], The EAR is the largest seismically active rift system on Earth today. There was also the reactivation of a pre-Cambrian weakness in the crust, a suture zone of multiple cratons, displacement along large boundary faults, and the development of deep asymmetric basins. South Africa’s main stock index fell, tracking declines in Asian markets amid caution over virus-related curbs, including new measures announced locally on Monday evening. The large, rounded seeds are typically dispersed short distances by gravity and their ability to roll downhill. Share via Email. [16] In accordance, a study of Halldórsson et al. The seismicity trends parallel to the rift system, with a shallow focal depth of 12–15 km (7.5–9.3 mi) beneath the rift axis. SOUTH AFRICA — Four students were rushed to a hospital after a driver drifting outside a school in Durban — lost control of his vehicle, crashing into them Wednesday afternoon. However, rifting is a very slow process that, most of the time, goes about splitting Africa without anybody even noticing. Many cratons are found throughout the EAR, such as the Tanzania and Kaapvaal cratons. The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations. The EAR began developing around the onset of the Miocene, 22–25 million years ago. “Its lava fountains crystallize in midair then shatter like glass” according to the National Geographic. [11][12][13] Although the effects of deep-rooted mantle plumes are an important hypothesis, their location and dynamics are poorly understood, and a matter of active research. The results corroborate the coexistence of a superplume “common to the entire rift” with another mantle material source being either of subcontinental type or of mid-ocean ridge type. A complete handbrake solution for most cars used in drifting (Nissan 200sx/Skyline, BMW E36 etc...) Our lines use 7/16 in, 3/8 out cylinder fittings and M10x1 brake line fittings. — For example, the crack could be the result of the erosion of soft soils infilling an old rift-related fault. [14] Seismic events in the past century are estimated to have reached a maximum moment magnitude of 7.0. In the past it was considered to be part of a larger Great Rift Valley that extended north to Asia Minor.. A narrow zone, the rift is a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary where … Maps made by Snider-Pellegrini in 1858 showing his idea of how the American and African continents may once have fitted together. The prehistory and history of South Africa span nearly the entire known existence of human beings and their ancestors—some three million years or more—and include the wandering of small bands of hominins through the savanna, the inception of herding and farming as ways of… 69 talking about this. When the lithosphere is subject to a horizontal extensional force it will stretch, becoming thinner. James Wood and Alex Guth, Michigan Technological University. To Grow the Sport of Drifting in South Africa Moto-inspired style meets edge-of-your-seat drifting action with the Drift Rider electric drift cycle. [5] The second stage of rifting is characterized by the deactivation of large boundary faults, the development of internal fault segments, and the concentration of magmatic activity towards the rifts. Rifts are the initial stage of a continental break-up and, if successful, can lead to the formation of a new ocean basin. Data SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO. Over time, many theories have tried to clarify the evolution of the East African Rift. According to this theory, lithospheric thinning generates volcanic activity, further increasing magmatic processes such as intrusions and numerous small plumes. May 27, 2014 01:03 PM Share on Facebook. Committees Drift in the region of Eastern Cape is a place located in South Africa - some 519 mi (or 835 km) South of Pretoria, the country's capital. A 3D numerical geodynamical model of the plume-crust coupling was capable of reproducing the lateral asymmetry of the EAR around the Tanzania craton. More than 90% of the border follows rivers, including the Nossob, Molopo, Marico and Limpopo. Wave after wave of warriors with spears and rifles crashed against the makeshift defences at Rorke's Drift, South Africa, and still the redcoats held firm. [5], The Rift Valley in East Africa has been a rich source of hominid fossils that allow the study of human evolution. It also runs offshore of the coast of Mozambique along the Kerimba and Lacerda grabens, which are joined by the Davie Ridge, a 2,200 km-long (1,400 mi) relic fracture zone that cuts across the West Somali basin, straddling the boundary between Tanzania and Mozambique. The most recent and accepted view is the theory put forth in 2009: that magmatism and plate tectonics have a feedback with one another, controlled by oblique rifting conditions. A series of distinct rift basins, the East African Rift System extends over thousands of kilometers. Crossing at Martin's Drift. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Evidence for the existence of this hotter-than-normal mantle plume has been found in geophysical data and is often referred to as the “African Superswell”. Prior to rifting, enormous continental flood basalts erupted on the surface and uplift of the Ethiopian, Somali, and East African plateaus occurred. Reprinted from Tetrophysics, Vol 513, Oliver Mearle, 'A simple continental rift classification' Copyright (2011), with permission from Elsevier. Fugitives’ Drift Reserve views. Located in a natural heritage site on the lip of the Buffalo River gorge, approximately four and five hours drive from Durban on South Africa’s east coast and Johannesburg respectively, Fugitives’ Drift commands magnificent views across the plains to the mountains of Isandlwana, the Oskarberg, and down 1258 yards … The bones of several hominid ancestors of modern humans have been found here, including those of "Lucy", a partial australopithecine skeleton discovered by anthropologist Donald Johanson dating back over 3 million years. The Victoria Microplate is rotating counter-clockwise with respect to the African plate. Birmingham, Warwickshire, Online talk: Prof Nathalie Seddon & Dr Steve Smith in conversation: "Value and limits of working with nature to address climate change" [6] The Davie Ridge ranges between 30–120 km (19–75 mi) wide, with a west-facing scarp (east-plunging arch) along the southern half of its length that rises to 2,300 m (7,500 ft) above the sea floor. [14][24] Focal mechanism solutions strike NE and frequently demonstrate normal dip-slip faults, although left-lateral motion is also observed. 7,598 likes. Today, continental drift and plate tectonics explain many parts of the Earth's surface, and scientists have even been able to measure the continents drifting apart year after year. The cratons are of significant importance in terms of mineral resources, with major deposits of gold, antimony, iron, chromium and nickel. Rifts exhibit a very distinctive topography, characterised by a series of fault-bounded depressions surrounded by higher terrain. This process is accompanied by surface manifestations along the rift valley in the form of volcanism and seismic activity. Coming from a one-man mountain with more shrapnel scars than most, things must be looking bleak in South Africa. These processes further thin the lithosphere in saturated areas, making the thinning lithosphere behave like a mid-ocean ridge.[12]. — Colchester, Essex, Copyright © 2010–2021, The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited, Google Earth. Its rotation is caused by the configuration of mechanically weaker and stronger lithospheric regions in the EARS. These forces do not simply move the plates around, they can also cause plates to rupture, forming a rift and potentially leading to the creation of new plate boundaries. “It’s been a rough month,” says Jess. [1] In the past it was considered to be part of a larger Great Rift Valley that extended north to Asia Minor. Today, the narrow rift segments of the East African Rift system form zones of localized strain. [14] The question is still debated. Eventually, over a period of tens of millions of years, seafloor spreading will progress along the entire length of the rift. Entire length of the EAR created them runs south africa drifting the rift is in. 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