There is ongoing geological activity in Africa that has resulted in the gradual separation of the continent into two parts over millions of years. This process is known as continental rifting and is caused by the movements of tectonic plates beneath the Earth’s surface.
However, it is important to note that this process of continental rifting is a slow and gradual one and is not something that is happening in a noticeable way in our lifetimes. While it is true that the East African Rift Valley is currently widening and could eventually result in the formation of a new continent, this process is likely to take tens of millions of years
At which place Africa is splitting?
Africa is splitting near the eastern side, from the Red Sea in the north to Zimbabwe in the south, with a total length of around 6,000 km. This area is called the East African Rift.
The East African Rift is a geological formation that stretches for over 6,000 kilometers from the Afar region of Ethiopia in the north to Zimbabwe in the south. It is an active continental rift zone that is currently widening at a rate of approximately 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) per year.
The East African Rift is a complex system of rift valleys, faults, and volcanic structures that has been forming for millions of years. It is the result of tectonic forces that are slowly pulling the African continent apart along the East African Rift System. This process has led to the formation of a series of deep lakes, including Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi, as well as a number of active and extinct volcanoes, such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and Mount Nyiragongo.
The East African Rift is one of the most geologically active areas in the world and is home to a wide range of unique plant and animal species that have adapted to the region’s changing landscape. It is also an important source of natural resources, including geothermal energy, minerals, and oil. However, the region is also prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural hazards, which can pose a significant threat to human populations living in the area.
What is continental rifting?
Continental rifting is a geological process that involves the splitting and separation of a continental plate into two or more smaller plates. This process is caused by the movement of tectonic plates, which are large sections of the Earth’s crust that move slowly over time. It is also called Divergent plate boundary.
Continental rifting begins when the Earth’s mantle begins to uplift and stretch the crust, creating a series of faults and fissures. As the crust stretches and thins, magma from the mantle rises to fill the gaps, creating new crustal material. Over time, this can lead to the formation of a new ocean basin, as the plates move apart and allow seawater to fill the gap.
Continental rifting can take millions of years to complete and is associated with a range of geological features, including volcanoes, earthquakes, and rift valleys. One well-known example of continental rifting is the East African Rift Valley, which is currently widening and could eventually lead to the formation of a new ocean basin in Africa.
Now graphically if I have to show you, what will happen is eventually this Somali plate is going to break away from the main African plate. In between the ocean water is going to fill up and this will turn into a sea.
10 interesting things about the African continent
- Africa is the second-largest continent on Earth, covering an area of about 30.2 million square kilometers.
- There are 54 recognized countries in Africa, making it the only continent with so many countries.
- The Sahara Desert, located in northern Africa, is the largest hot desert in the world, covering an area of about 3.6 million square miles.
- The Nile River, which flows through Egypt and several other African countries, is the longest river in the world, with a length of about 6,650 kilometers.
- Africa is home to the largest land mammal, the African elephant, and the fastest land mammal, the cheetah.
- Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, with a height of 5,895 meters.
- The Great Rift Valley located in Eastern Africa, which runs through several African countries, is the largest geological formation on Earth and is home to many unique plant and animal species.
- Africa has a rich cultural heritage, with over 3,000 distinct ethnic groups and more than 2,000 languages spoken.
- The continent has a rapidly growing population, with over 1.2 billion people living in Africa, making it the second most populous continent after Asia.
- Africa is also blessed with many natural resources, including Oil, Gas, Diamonds, Copper, Uranium, Nickle, Aluminium, Bauxite, Coal, Silver and Gold.