A large crack, stretching several kilometres, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya. 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. “It’s been a rough month,” says Jess. According to this theory, lithospheric thinning generates volcanic activity, further increasing magmatic processes such as intrusions and numerous small plumes. [14][24] Focal mechanism solutions strike NE and frequently demonstrate normal dip-slip faults, although left-lateral motion is also observed. 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. Geography. Eventually, over a period of tens of millions of years, seafloor spreading will progress along the entire length of the rift. The cratons are of significant importance in terms of mineral resources, with major deposits of gold, antimony, iron, chromium and nickel. [7] The EAR transects through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. The EAR also cuts through old sedimentary rocks deposited in ancient basins. The majority of earthquakes occur near the Afar Depression, with the largest earthquakes typically occurring along or near major border faults. Video of the incident shows a white Toyota Corolla driving up and down the road. Crossing at Martin's Drift. Coming from a one-man mountain with more shrapnel scars than most, things must be looking bleak in South Africa. 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. Richard and Mary Leakey have done significant work in this region also. 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… [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. Royal Holloway provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK. [20] Numerical modeling of plume-induced continental break-up shows two distinct stages, crustal rifting followed by lithospheric breakup, and the upwelling between stages of an upper mantle plume.[21]. This process is accompanied by surface manifestations along the rift valley in the form of volcanism and seismic activity. 1,324 talking about this. The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is an active continental rift zone in East Africa.The EAR began developing around the onset of the Miocene, 22–25 million years ago. Full Power Drift . N/A, Oxfordshire, Emergency Powers in a Time of Pandemic Over time, many theories have tried to clarify the evolution of the East African Rift. And it’s worse than any of us can imagine. Since the 1990s, evidence has been found in favor of mantle plumes beneath the EAR. Initially, the appearance of the crack was linked to tectonic activity along the East African Rift. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse. The Earth is an ever-changing planet, even though in some respects change might be almost unnoticeable to us. The East African Rift system is an example of where this is currently happening. However, in East Africa most of this seismicity is spread over a wide zone across the rift valley and is of relatively small magnitude. [16] In accordance, a study of Halldórsson et al. 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. Activity along the eastern branch of the rift valley, running along Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, became evident when the large crack suddenly appeared in south-western Kenya. Prior to the theory of continental drift, the widely scattered distribution of present-day cycads in Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Americas was an enigma. — When DallaFilla erupted in 2008 it was the largest volcanic eruption in Ethiopia in recorded history. [6][8] Its movement is concurrent with the EAR.[9]. Colchester, Essex, Catherine Freeman Birmingham, Warwickshire, Online talk: Prof Nathalie Seddon & Dr Steve Smith in conversation: "Value and limits of working with nature to address climate change" The EAR runs from the Afar Triple Junction in the Afar Triangle of Ethiopia through eastern Africa, terminating in Mozambique. 74 talking about this. [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. Albert Bvute, who jumped the border into South Africa over a week ago, has been stranded at Ha-Tshirundu since then. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Lucía Pérez Díaz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. However, rifting is a very slow process that, most of the time, goes about splitting Africa without anybody even noticing. 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. [5], The EAR is the largest seismically active rift system on Earth today. Eventually, it will rupture, leading to the formation of a rift valley. Colchester, Essex, Copyright © 2010–2021, The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited, Google Earth. Rifts are the initial stage of a continental break-up and, if successful, can lead to the formation of a new ocean basin. — When this happens, a new ocean will begin forming by the solidification of magma in the space created by the broken-up plates. When this happens, a new ocean will begin fo… An example of a place on Earth where this has happened is the South Atlantic ocean, which resulted from the break up of South America and Africa around 138m years ago – ever noticed how their coastlines match like pieces of the same puzzle?. 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. (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. [26] He says he endured the walk through the bushes and the Limpopo River to seek medical attention in South Africa. Approximately 50 volcanic structures in Ethiopia alone have documented activity since the onset of the Holocene. Rorke’s Drift in South Africa was the site of a famous battle during the Anglo-Zulu Wars in which 139 British soldiers fiercely and successfully defended the area and their garrison against between four and five thousand Zulu Warriors. [5][25] The rapidly eroding highlands quickly filled the valley with sediments, creating a favorable environment for the preservation of remains. More than 90% of the border follows rivers, including the Nossob, Molopo, Marico and Limpopo. Towards the Afar region, however, the entire rift valley floor is covered with volcanic rocks. The East African Rift is unique in that it allows us to observe different stages of rifting along its length. They are characterized by greenstone belts, tonalites, and other high-grade metamorphic lithologies. The leaders in Wildlife Adventure Tours in Southern & East Africa since 1983 We can not wait to start running our adventure tours again and will be sure to let you know the moment we are able to do so. It is an inverse problem technique that models which are the velocities of the inner Earth that reproduce the seismographic data recorded all around the world. [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. 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. Periods of extension alternated with times of relative inactivity. 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. We are super excited to bring you Drift Trike Rentals on SA's 1st professional Drift Trike Circut. 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. — 7,598 likes. [5] The EAR consists of two main branches. 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. Basemap: Space Shuttle radar topography image by NASA. The Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano is currently the only active natrocarbonatite volcano in the world. [10] Others proposed an African superplume causing mantle deformation. [17], The geophysical method of seismic tomography is a suitable tool to investigate Earth's subsurface structures deeper than the crust. This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up. Schmidtsdrift is a town in Pixley ka Seme District Municipality in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. James Wood and Alex Guth, Michigan Technological University. To the south, where the rift is young, extension rates are low and faulting occurs over a wide area. A name that transcends multiple continents, and blurs its own legendary heritage into the veins of the world’s most elite supercars and sports cars of past and present. The large, rounded seeds are typically dispersed short distances by gravity and their ability to roll downhill. To Grow the Sport of Drifting in South Africa Maps made by Snider-Pellegrini in 1858 showing his idea of how the American and African continents may once have fitted together. To the south, where the rift is young, extension rates are low and faulting occurs over a wide area. 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”. 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 cratons are thick, and have survived for billions of years with little tectonic activity. Data SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO. 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. Share via Email. The Victoria Microplate is rotating counter-clockwise with respect to the African plate. The varying geochemical signatures of a suite of Ethiopian lavas suggest multiple plume sources: at least one of deep mantle origin, and one from within the subcontinental lithosphere. The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations. Vant's Drift in the region of KwaZulu-Natal is a city in South Africa - some 224 mi (or 360 km) South-East of Pretoria, the country's capital. 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. [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. Studies that contribute to the broader understanding on the evolution of rifts can be grouped into the techniques of isotope geochemistry, seismic tomography and geodynamical modeling. These processes further thin the lithosphere in saturated areas, making the thinning lithosphere behave like a mid-ocean ridge.[12]. Beneath this rift, the rise of a large mantle plume is doming the lithosphere upwards, causing it to weaken as a result of the increase in temperature, undergo stretching and breaking by faulting. [18][19], Parallel to geological and geophysical measures (e.g. It has been suggested that the diversity of the compositions could be partially explained by different mantle source regions. Africa South Africa’s Poor Drifting Away From ANC. DriftSouth, Christchurch, New Zealand. The students were on their way home, when the driver drove passed them. Volcanism and seismicity are limited. We are super excited to bring you Drift Trike Rentals on SA's 1st professional Drift Trike Circut. [11][14] The composition of the volcanics are a continuum of ultra-alkaline to tholeiitic and felsic rocks. Recent improvements of tomographic Earth models of P-wave and S-wave velocities suggest that a superplume upwelling from the lower mantle at the northeastern EAR feeds plumes of smaller scale into the upper mantle. For example, fossils of the ancient reptile mesosaurus are only found in southern Africa and South America. Further away from the rift axis, focal depths can reach depths of over 30 km (19 mi). The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is an active continental rift zone in East Africa. The Eastern Rift Valley (also known as Gregory Rift) includes the Main Ethiopian Rift, running eastward from the Afar Triple Junction, which continues south as the Kenyan Rift Valley. Border fence in the dry Nossob riverbed. 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 … Photo courtesy of Fugitives’ Drift. 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. Africa Is South Africa drifting into a Civil War? Print this page. Although most of these mountains lie outside of the rift valley, the EAR created them. 69 talking about this. Drift South - The South Islands Exclusive Drifting Series 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. By Anita Powell. In 1972 it was proposed that the EAR was not caused by tectonic activity, but rather by differences in crustal density. Zulu is a 1964 British epic war film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War.It shows how 150 British soldiers, 30 of whom were sick and wounded patients in a field hospital, successfully held off a … The EAR began developing around the onset of the Miocene, 22–25 million years ago. 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. [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. Rifts exhibit a very distinctive topography, characterised by a series of fault-bounded depressions surrounded by higher terrain. A 3D numerical geodynamical model of the plume-crust coupling was capable of reproducing the lateral asymmetry of the EAR around the Tanzania craton. As aforementioned, voluminous magmatism and continental flood basalts characterize some of the rift segments, while other segments, such as the Western branch, have only very small volumes of volcanic rock. Situated 80 km west of Kimberley, it was originally a ford across the Vaal River which is now bridged on the N8 National Route from Kimberley to Campbell and Griquatown. In the East African system, a series of aligned rift valleys separated from each other by large bounding faults can be clearly seen from space. [2] The rift system consists of three microplates, the Victoria Microplate to the north, and the Rovuma and Lwandle microplates to the south. Fugitives’ Drift Reserve views. [14], The African continental crust is generally cool and strong. isotope ratios and seismic velocities) it is constructive to test hypotheses on computer based geodynamical models. Plate tectonics is a good example of this. Volcanism running alongside is a further surface manifestation of the ongoing process of continental break up and the proximity of the hot molten asthenosphere to the surface. At the moment there are still worldwide travel restrictions [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. The 66-year-old Bvute was destined for Tzaneen where his son works. Choose from a handbrake with a quality Wilwood master cylinder, flexi lines and upgraded stainless handle.You'll need both input AND output lines to plumb in your handbrake, the kit replaces your rear brake … These plates are not static, but move relative to each other at varying speeds, “gliding” over a viscous asthenosphere. [14] Seismic events in the past century are estimated to have reached a maximum moment magnitude of 7.0. Dramatic events, such as sudden motorway-splitting faults can give continental rifting a sense of urgency. Continental rifting requires the existence of extensional forces great enough to break the lithosphere. Volcanism and seismicity are limited. On average, the landmasses of North and South America, and Europe and Africa move about 1 inch further apart each year. The border between Botswana and South Africa is 1,969 kilometres (1,223 mi) long. Towards the Afar region, however, the entire rift valley floor is covered with volcanic rocks. Its rotation is caused by the configuration of mechanically weaker and stronger lithospheric regions in the EARS. Red Bull Car Park drift series resumed the events as of August 2020 and will extend the series till October 2021.Event dates will be updated once confirmed by the local authorities. in 2014 compare the geochemical signature of rare Earth's isotopes from xenoliths and lava samples collected in the EAR. But every now and again something dramatic happens and leads to renewed questions about the African continent splitting in two. The ocean will flood in and, as a result, the African continent will become smaller and there will be a large island in the Indian Ocean composed of parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, including the Horn of Africa. 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 … Many cratons are found throughout the EAR, such as the Tanzania and Kaapvaal cratons. These rifts are the result of the actions of numerous normal faults which are typical of all tectonic rift zones. The magma contains almost no silica, making the flow viscosity extremely low. 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. When the lithosphere is subject to a horizontal extensional force it will stretch, becoming thinner. 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. Postdoctoral Researcher, Fault Dynamics Research Group, Royal Holloway. Today, the narrow rift segments of the East African Rift system form zones of localized strain. Chard led the 150-strong British garrison in repelling 4,000 Zulu warriors during the battle, soon after British imperial forces had invaded Zululand to tighten their grip on South Africa. Reprinted from Tetrophysics, Vol 513, Oliver Mearle, 'A simple continental rift classification' Copyright (2011), with permission from Elsevier. Share on Twitter. — “Its lava fountains crystallize in midair then shatter like glass” according to the National Geographic. 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. This suggests that, in this area, the lithosphere has thinned almost to the point of complete break up. The East African Riftis unique in that it allows us to observe different stages of rifting along its length. [citation needed]. — Ad by Raging Bull, LLC This man made $2.8 million swing trading stocks from home. 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 series of distinct rift basins, the East African Rift System extends over thousands of kilometers. For example, the crack could be the result of the erosion of soft soils infilling an old rift-related fault. Although most of the time rifting is unnoticeable to us, the formation of new faults, fissures and cracks or renewed movement along old faults as the Nubian and Somali plates continue moving apart can result in earthquakes.