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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.


Our new paper "Spatial variability of volcanic features in early-stage rift settings: the case of the Tanzania divergence, East African rift system" by Isola et al. has been accepted for publication in Terra Nova

New paper of interest: Mantle dynamics and secular variations beneath the East African Rift: Insights from peridotite xenoliths (Mega, Ethiopia) by Gianluca Bianchini et al, Chemical Geology, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.07.024

5th African Rift Geothermal Conference - Arusha, Tanzania, 27th Oct-2nd Nov 2014

New paper of interest: Current Kinematics and Dynamics of Africa and the East African Rift System by Stamps et al, Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010717

New map: C14 datings of Late Quaternary faults of the Central and Southern Main Ethiopian Rift (added in the Utilities page)

News archive

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 August 25th 2014