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The Ethiopian Rift Valley

The African rift valley is one of the most fascinating natural wonders, known for its unique biodiversity and for being considered -for the important paleoanthropologic discoveries- the "cradle of mankind", i.e. the place where our species has evolved and diversified in the last millions of years. Characterized by a system of linear valleys extending for thousands of kilometers, the rift valley is a huge fracture on the surface of our planet that progressively widens with time, tearing the eastern portion of the African continent apart. It represents a geological wonder where volcanism, earthquakes and fracturing of the Earth's crust are the surface expressions of the enormous wforces that shape our planet. These web pages are dedicated to the analysis of the Ethiopian sector of the African rift valley, an ideal natural laboratory to analyze the evolution and dynamics of continental extension and the rupture of lithospheric plates.


Our new work Obliquity along plate boundaries by Philippon and Corti is in press on Tectonophysics

New paper of interest: Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia) by Medynski et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 446, 77-88

New paper of interest: The Quaternary volcanic rocks of the northern Afar Depression (northern Ethiopia): Perspectives on petrology, geochemistry, and tectonics by Hagos et al., Journal of African Earth Sciences, 117, 29–47

New paper of interest: Petrogenesis and origin of modern Ethiopian rift basalts: Constraints from isotope and trace element geochemistry by Ayalew et al., Lithos, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2016.04.001

New paper of interest: Geology and geochronology of the Tana Basin, Ethiopia: LIP volcanism, super eruptions and Eocene–Oligocene environmental change by Prave et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 443, 1–8

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For more information please contact:
Dr. Giacomo Corti, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources
Via G. La Pira, 4, 50121 Firenze, Italia - Email: giacomo.corti@igg.cnr.it | Telephone: +390552757524
Last updated on May 24th 2016