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Afar Triangle: New Ocean Emergence



  Mar 20, 2024

Formation of a New Ocean in the Afar Triangle



The African continent is undergoing a significant geological event in the Afar Triangle (also known as the Afar Depression), which might lead to the creation of a new ocean. This phenomenon is a result of the tectonic activities in the region. The Afar Triangle is situated in the Horn of Africa and is one of the world’s lowest and hottest places. It lies at the junction of three tectonic plates: the Arabian Plate, and the two parts of the African Plate (the Nubian and the Somali).

The process at play is known as rifting, where the Earth’s crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart due to tectonic forces. The Arabian Plate is moving away from Africa, creating new crust as magma rises to the surface and solidifies. Over millions of years, this rifting process is expected to continue, potentially filling the gap with oceanic water, hence leading to the formation of a new ocean.


This geological phenomenon is not only rare but also provides a unique opportunity for scientists to study the processes that shape our planet’s surface. It echoes the early stages of the Red Sea’s formation, offering insights into continental drift and plate tectonics theories.


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