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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 forces 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.


New paper of interest: Off-rift volcanism in rift zones determined by crustal unloading by Maccaferri et al. published on Nature Geoscience

New paper of interest: Present-day Kinematics of the East African Rift by Saria et al. published on Journal of Geophysical Research

New paper of interest: Constraining melt geometries beneath the Afar Depression, Ethiopia from teleseismic receiver functions: The anisotropic H-κ stacking technique by Hammond in press on GCubed

New paper of interest: A common mantle plume source beneath the entire East African Rift System revealed by coupled helium-neon systematics by Halldorsson et al in press on Geophysical Research Letters

New paper of interes: The occurrence of a complete continental rift type of volcanic rocks suite along the Yerer – Tullu Wellel Volcano Tectonic Lineament, Central Ethiopia by Tsegaye Abebe Adhana in press on Journal of African Earth Sciences. Congratulations Tsegaye!

Starting from a study in highlands of Colombia and Ethiopia, scientists have shown that malaria moves up in elevation in warmer years implying that "climate change will, without mitigation, result in an increase of the malaria burden in the densely populated highlands of Africa and South America". See paper by Siraj et al. on Science

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Geologia e paesaggi della Rift Valley in Etiopia

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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 April 16th 2014