Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Big Crack in Ethiopia: New Ocean in the Making

"Giant Crack in Africa Will Create a New Ocean"
Live Science (November 2, 2009)

"A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm.

"The crack, 20 feet wide in spots, opened in 2005 and some geologists believed then that it would spawn a new ocean. But that view was controversial, and the rift had not been well studied.

"A new study involving an international team of scientists and reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the processes creating the rift are nearly identical to what goes on at the bottom of oceans, further indication a sea is in the region's future.

"The same rift activity is slowly parting the Red Sea, too...."

Seafloor spreading, continental drift, and other changes of Earth's surface over time have been observed - and accepted - for some time now. My most geologists, at any rate. What's surprising, apparently, is how abruptly this crack formed.

"...'We know that seafloor ridges are created by a similar intrusion of magma into a rift, but we never knew that a huge length of the ridge could break open at once like this,' said Cindy Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study...."

This is the sort of thing that keeps life from getting boring. And keeps us on our toes:

"...The result shows that highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of in bits, as the leading theory held. And such sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events, Ebinger said...."


(Tim Wright, University of Leeds, via FOXNews, used w/o permission)
"Feleke Worku, a surveyor from the Ethiopian Mapping Agency, examines a ground rupture created during the September 2005 rifting event"


(Julie Rowland, University of Auckland, via FOXNews, used w/o permission)
"Central section of 60 km-long rift zone that opened south of Dabbahu volcano"

Here in America, some cities have started controlling what sort of thing people can build in certain areas: like flood plains. Looks like countries where continents are coming unzipped might want to consider something like that for areas that are likely to break up.

Then there's the matter of national boundaries: what happens when part of Ethiopia is on one side of a new arm of the ocean, and part on the other. That should keep diplomats and lawyers busy for a while.

6 comments:

123 123 said...

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Hawaiianian said...

The Earth is actually alive, and like any living thing, it is growing.

You've seen the Incredible Hulk's shirt split when he "grows"... well this is exactly the same as that.

There's a book by S. Warren Carey called "Theories of the Earth and Universe" which although it sounds cosmic, is not, and is the best explanation of what is actually occurring.

The currently accepted "version of the truth", that the Earth the plates travel around is not true. The Earth is expanding and growing.

It is not accepted today and this is because science always lags way behind what is the truth. People are lambs and believe what they are told. It wasn't that long ago that everyone thought the Earth was flat and the concept of plate tectonics/subduction is a continuation of that resistance to change.

Hawaiianian said...

The Earth is actually alive, and like any living thing, it is growing.

You've seen the Incredible Hulk's shirt split when he "grows"... well this is exactly the same as that.

There's a book by S. Warren Carey called "Theories of the Earth and Universe" which although it sounds cosmic, is not, and is the best explanation of what is actually occurring.

The currently accepted "version of the truth", that the Earth the plates travel around is not true. The Earth is expanding and growing.

It is not accepted today and this is because science always lags way behind what is the truth. People are lambs and believe what they are told. It wasn't that long ago that everyone thought the Earth was flat and the concept of plate tectonics/subduction is a continuation of that resistance to change.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Hawaiianian,

That's a new one to me. The "Hulk" part.

The 'Earth is alive' thing is decades old - as a science fiction story, later as New Age stuff.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Hawaiianian,

That's a new one to me. The "Hulk" part.

The 'Earth is alive' thing is decades old - as a science fiction story, later as New Age stuff.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Everybody else,

Those last two Hawaiianian posts are - interesting - and I'll leave it at that.

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