New Information on the Afar Depression

The Afar Depression is, of course, famous for being the area where Australopithecus afarensis was discovered. Geotimes has an article concerning recent seismic studies of the Afar area:

The Afar Depression in northeastern Ethiopia is a scientific treasure trove. To anthropologists, Afar is home to hominid fossils like the 3.2 million-year-old Lucy. To geologists, it is the site of a triple junction, where three pieces of Earth’s crust are simultaneously pulling away from each other … The powerful stresses in the crust lead to frequent earthquakes and volcanism, and produce deep cracks and fissures in the region. Researchers now say that the source of this activity could be a deep upwelling of hot rock far to the southwest, revealing a possible new connection in Earth’s interior.
Scientists have traditionally thought that Afar’s hotspot was the result of one or more shallow plumes of hot rock rising through Earth’s mantle. However, some global-scale seismic models, which help reveal the structure of the mantle, hint at a connection between other regional hotspots below Ethiopia and Tanzania and the deeper African superplume — implying a possible connection with the Afar hotspot as well, says Andrew Nyblade, a seismologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. But those models lack the resolution to accurately map the upper mantle.

Follow the link to read the rest…
Added Later: The link is broken on Geotimes site as well, I’m not sure what the problem is…

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One Response

  1. Link? You call that a link?
    Not Found
    The requested URL /current/NN_afar.html was not found on this server.

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