A new ocean is being formed in Africa. Geologists have confirmed that a new ocean is being created as the African continent is split in half. An international effort has revealed that a 35 miles long rift appeared in the Ethiopian deserts of the Far region in 2005 and is probably the start of a brand-new sea.
The recent study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, combines seismic data from the rift formation to demonstrate that it is driven by processes similar to those at the ocean’s bottom. The tectonic plates of Africa and Arabia collide in the desert and have been gradually separating for about 30 million years. The same motion has also split the Red Sea, but this is only happening at a rate of a fraction of an inch per year.
Soon humanity might have two motherlands. Africa’s 54 nations are being divided according to geologists researching the continent’s plate tectonics. The East African Rift, which separates eastern coastal countries like Kenya and Tanzania from most of the continent, passes across Mozambique from the Afar area of northern Ethiopia.
A new study in the journal Nature found that the two pieces of land are separating at a rate of 7 millimeters per year. Nations like Zambia and Uganda will have their own coastlines. Scientists claim that several currently active volcanoes along the river, including the Aloo Dalapila in Ethiopia and the Old wenyolangai in Tanzania, provide new insights into the process. In particular, the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia has been erupting nonstop for more than 50 years. The Victoria microplate, the biggest of its kind on Earth and tucked between each side of the rift, has been rotating against the clock for the past two years.