Aug 17, 2023

Scientists Uncover Source of Unusual Deformation in Earth’s Largest Continental Rift

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Computer simulations confirm that the African Superplume causes the unusual deformations and rift-parallel seismic anisotropy detected below the East African Rift System.

Continental rifting involves a combination of stretching and fracturing that penetrates deep within the Earth, explains geophysicist D. Sarah Stamps. This process pertains to the elongation of the lithosphere, Earth’s rigid outer layer. As it becomes more taut, the lithosphere’s upper sections undergo brittle changes, leading to rock fractures and earthquakes.

Stamps, who studies these processes by using computer modeling and GPS.

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