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NEWS archive


Our new work Off-axis volcano-tectonic activity during continental rifting: insights from the transversal Goba-Bonga lineament, Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa) by Corti et al has been published in Tectonophysics



Our new work Controls of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity on rift linkage: Numerical and analogue models of interaction between the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts across the Turkana depression by Brune et al has been published in Tectonics

Our new work Geothermal potential and origin of natural thermal fluids in the northern Lake Abaya area, Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa by Minissale et al has been accepted for publication on Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research


New paper of interest: The making of an underplate: Pyroxenites from the Ethiopian lithosphere by Rooney et al., Chemical Geology,

Our new work Modeling along-axis variations in fault architecture in the Main Ethiopian Rift: implications for Nubia-Somalia kinematics by Erbello et al is in press on Journal of Geodynamics

New paper of interest: GPS constraints on broad scale extension in the Ethiopian Highlands and Main Ethiopian Rift by Birhanu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/GRL.54651

New paper of interest: Nature and evolution of lithospheric mantle beneath the southern Ethiopian rift zone: evidence from petrology and geochemistry of mantle xenoliths by Alemayehu et al., Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch), DOI 10.1007/s00531-016-1342-z

New paper of interest: Petrogenesis and origin of modern Ethiopian rift basalts: Constraints from isotope and trace element geochemistry by Ayelew et al., Lithos, 258–259, 1–14

New paper of interest: Deformation, annealing, reactive melt percolation, and seismic anisotropy in the lithospheric mantle beneath the southeastern Ethiopian rift: Constraints from mantle xenoliths from Mega by Tommasi et al., Tectonophysics DOI: doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.05.027

New volume The African Quaternary: environments, ecology and human just published on Quaternary International

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,

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

New paper of interest: Wendo Koshe Pumice: The latest Holocene silicic explosive eruption product of the Corbetti Volcanic System (Southern Ethiopia) di Rapprich et al., Journal Volcanology Geoth Res, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.12.008



Our new work A refinement of the chronology of rift-related faulting in the Broadly Rifted Zone, southern Ethiopia, through apatite fission-track analysisby Balestrieri et al has been published on Tectonophysics

New paper of interest: Fault and graben growth along active magmatic divergent plate boundaries in Iceland and Ethiopia by Trippanera et al., Tectonics, doi: 10.1002/2015TC003991

New paper of interest: Modes of rifting in magma-rich settings: Tectono-magmatic evolution of Central Afar by Stab et al., Tectonics, doi: 10.1002/2015TC003893

New paper of interest: Ridge-push force and the state of stress in the Nubia-Somalia plate system di Mahatsente e Coblentz, Lithosphere, doi: 10.1130/L441.1

New paper of interest: The offshore East African Rift system: structural framework at the toe of a juvenile rift by Franke et al, Tectonics, doi: 10.1002/2015TC003922

New paper of interest: Multiple mantle upwellings in the transition zone beneath the northern East African Rift System from relative P wave travel time tomography by Civiero et al., GCubed, DOI: 10.1002/2015GC005948

Our new paper Topography, river network and recent fault activity at the margins of the Central Main Ethiopian Rift (East Africa) by Molin and Corti has been published in Tectonophysics

New paper of interest: 3-D analysis and interpretation of magnetotelluric data from the Aluto-Langano geothermal field, Ethiopia by Samrock et al, Geophysical Journal International, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv270

New paper of interest: Structural controls on fluid pathways in an active rift system: A case study of the Aluto volcanic complex di Hutchinson et al, Geosphere, DOI: doi:10.1130/GES01119.1

New paper of interest: Upper mantle temperature and the onset of extension and break-up in Afar, Africa di Armitage et al, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.039

Our new paper Magma-induced axial subsidence during final-stage rifting: implications for the development of seaward dipping reflectors by Corti et al. has been accepted for publication in Geosphere

Clip gallery updated (with new photos Feb 2015)

Our new paper The origin of along-rift variations in faulting and magmatism in the Ethiopian rift by Keir et al. is in press in Tectonics

Our new paper Slip re-orientation in oblique rifts by Philippon et al. has been published in Geology



Bologna 2014

New paper of interest: Role of Mantle Flow in Nubia-Somalia Plate Divergence by Stamps et al, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062515

New paper of interest: Seismicity and subsidence following the 2011 Nabro eruption, Eritrea: Insights into the plumbing system of an off-rift volcano by Hamlyn et al, Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2014JB011395

New photos: Tanzania 2014

New paper of interest: Current plate boundary deformation of the Afar rift from a 3D velocity field inversion of InSAR and GPS by Pagli et al, Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2014JB011391

New photos added

New paper of interest: History of the development of the East African Rift System: A series of interpreted maps through time by Duncan Macgregor, Journal of African Earth Sciences, DOI: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2014.09.016

New paper of interest: Magmatism and deformation during continental breakup by Derek Keir, Astronomy and Geophysics, 55 (5): 5.18-5.22

We will contribute to the volume "Landscapes and Landforms of Ethiopia" (Springer) with the paper "Rift-related morphology of the Afar Depression"

I've just been inteviewed for a scientific documentary on the Olduvai Gorge made by the Scuola di Paleoantropologia of the University of Perugia

New paper of interest: Flip-flop detachment tectonics at nascent passive margins in SE Afar by Geoffroy et al., Journal of the Geological Society, 171, 689-694

New paper of interest: Seismicity and subsidence following the 2011 Nabro eruption, Eritrea: Insights into the plumbing system of an off-rift volcano by Hamlyn et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011395

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 (doi: 10.1111/ter.12121)

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

congresso società geologica italiana

GeoMod Conference 2014

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

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)

New paper of interest: Structural control on magmatism along divergent and convergent plate boundaries: Overview, model, problems by Valerio Acocella, Earth Science Reviews, DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2014.05.006

New paper of interest: Chronological and behavioral contexts of the earliest Middle Stone Age in the Gademotta Formation, Main Ethiopian Rift by Sahle et al., Quaternary International, DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.03.010

New paper of interest: Garba XIII (Melka Kunture, Upper Awash, Ethiopia): A new Acheulean site of the late Lower Pleistocene by Gallotti et al, Quaternary International, DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.04.039

New paper of interest: Physical volcanology of the Gubisa formation, Kone Volcanic Complex, Ethiopia by Rampey et al, Journal of African Earth Sciences, DOI: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2014.04.009

New paper of interest: Magnetotelluric imaging of upper crustal partial melt at Tendaho graben in Afar, Ethiopia by Didana et al, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060000

New paper of interest: The protracted development of focused magmatic intrusion during continental rifting by Rooney et al, Tectonics, DOI: 10.1002/2013TC003514

New paper of interest: Differentiating flow, melt, or fossil seismic anisotropy beneath Ethiopia by Hammond et al, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, DOI: 10.1002/2013GC005185

New paper of interest: Thermal models of dyke intrusion during development of continent–ocean transition by Daniels et al, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.09.018

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 interest: 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

Our new paper "Evolution, distribution and characteristics of rifting in southern Ethiopia" by Philippon et al. is in press on Tectonics

Congratulations to Prof. Piero Manetti, appointed Emeritus Professor by the Dean of the University of Florence Alberto Tesi on Feb 5th (click here to download a short movie of the cerimony)



New paper of interest: Genesis and evolution of mafic and felsic magmas at Quaternary volcanoes within the Main Ethiopian Rift: Insights from Gedemsa and Fanta 'Ale complexes by Giordano et al., Lithos, 188, 130-144

New page: Volcanoes of the Ethiopian Rift Valley

Clip gallery updated (with new photos Oct 2013) and new photos on Panoramio

Geological Society of America's Guest Blog: Structural Geology and Tectonics Research for Development in Africa by Mark Jessel

New volume of interest: The Gulf of Aden rifted margins system: Special Issue dedicated to the YOCMAL project (Young Conjugate Margins Laboratory in the Gulf of Aden), Tectonophysics, Volume 607, Pages 1-114 

New paper of interest: A mantle magma reservoir beneath an incipient mid-oceanic ridge in Afar, Ethiopia by Desissa et al., Nature Geoscience, 6, 861-865

Our new work "Quaternary volcano-tectonic activity in the Soddo region, western margin of the Southern Main Ethiopian Rift" has been published in Tectonics

Events: photographic exhibition "La nostra Etiopia" (Our Ethiopia) by our friends Mauro and Piero Carta, held in Scarperia (Florence) [Sept 2013]

New paper of interest: Melting during late-stage rifting in Afar is hot and deep by Ferguson et al., Nature, 499, 70-73

New paper of interest: Mantle transition zone thinning beneath eastern Africa: Evidence for a whole mantle superplume structure by Mulibo & Nyblade, GRL, 10.1002/grl.50694

After having attended the first workshop on Advances in Quantitative Analogue Modeling (AiQAM) in Potsdam, Germany, we are now moving to Ethiopia for a short field trip to the rift valley and surrounding plateaus (sept30th to Oct 8th)

New paper of interest: Mantle upwelling and initiation of rift segmentation beneath the Afar Depression by Hammond et al. Geology, 41, 635–638.

New paper of interest: Controls on magmatic cycles and development of rift topography of the Manda Hararo segment (Afar, Ethiopia) by Medynski et al. Earth Planet Sci Letters, 367, 133–146

New paper of interest: Seismic anisotropy in eastern Africa, mantle flow, and the African superplume by Bagley and Nyblade, GRL, 40, 1–6

Our new paper "Re-orientation of the extension direction and pure extensional faulting at oblique rift margins: comparison between the Main Ethiopian Rift and laboratory experiments" is in press on Terra Nova

New paper of interest: Uppermost mantle (Pn) velocity model for the Afar region, Ethiopia: an insight into rifting processes di Stork et al. Geophysical Journal International, 193(1), 321-328

New paper of interest: The intimate relationship between strain and magmatism: A numerical treatment of clustered monogenetic fields in the Main Ethiopian Rift by Mazzarini et al. Tectonics, 32, 49–64

We have been to Vienna for the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013 (07-12 April)

Our new paper "Inward migration of faulting during continental rifting: effects of pre-existing lithospheric structure and extension rate" has published on Tectonophysics

Update of the Utilities page with historical maps of the East African and Ethiopian rift valley

We have presented our book on the Ethiopian rift valley at the University of Florence on March 11. Mario Tozzi, together with the Authors, has introduced the book. Download the invitation to the event.

New photos of the 2013 field trip available on the clip galleries page

New paper of interest: Constraining timescales of focused magmatic accretion and extension in the Afar crust using lava geochronology by Ferguson et al. Nature Communications, 4, article number: 1416.

Our new work Experimental modeling of rifting at craton margins by Corti, Iandelli, Cerca has been published on Geosphere, v.9, n.1, pagg. 138–154.

New paper of interest: Geochemical evidence of mantle reservoir evolution during progressive rifting along the western Afar margin by Rooney et al., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 102, 65-88.

DANCALIA TERRA ESTREMA. Photographic exhibition, Dicomano (Florence) from Dec 15th to Jan 6th (Sat Dec 15th, h. 4pm, presentations by Luca Lupi and Valentina Gambicorti).

Power point (in italian) "Rocks break and fold: small-scale reproduction of deformation processes" (presented by Giacomo Corti at the meeting with the secondary school professors of the Associazione Nazionale Insegnanti di Scienze Naturali Sez. di Firenze) available for download in the Utilities page

New paper of interest: Integrated field, stellite and petrological observations of the November 2010 eruption of Erta Ele by Field et al. Bulletin of volcanology, 74, 2251–2271.

Our new research paper "Experimental modeling of rifting at craton margins" by Giacomo Corti et al. has been accepted for publication on Geosphere.

Nice documentary on the rift valley presented on the Italian TV Rai3 on Nov3rd (click here to see it on YouTube)

New paper of interest: Crustal S-wave velocity structure of the Main Ethiopian Rift from ambient noise tomography by Kim et al. Geophysical Journal International, 191, 865-878

A new movie showing the deformation of an analogue model of oblique rifting has been added in the Utilities page

We have presented some of the results of our researches in Ethiopia at the GIGS (Gruppo Italiano Geologia Strutturale-Italian Group on Structural Geology) annual meeting in Modena, on Oct 25-26.

New page added: the cradle of mankind

Our new research paper "Holocene lacustrine fluctuations and deep CO2 degassing in the northeastern Lake Langano Basin (Main Ethiopian Rift)" by Marco Benvenuti et al. has been accepted for publication on Journal of African Earth Sciences.

New Ethiopian photos on Flickr

New update of the database of the faults affecting the Main Ethiopian Rift. Visit the Utilities page to download it.

The detailed program of the 24th Colloquium of African Geology (CAG) to be held in Addis Ababa on January 8-14, 2013, at the United Nations Conference Centre is now available. Visit the web site for more info: .

New paper of interest: Magma storage conditions beneath Dabbahu Volcano (Ethiopia) constrained by petrology, seismicity and satellite geodesy by Field et al BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY, doi: 10.1007/s00445-012-0580-6

New paper of interest: Morpho-tectonic analysis of the Tekeze River and the Blue Nile drainage systems on the Northwestern Plateau, Ethiopia by Ismail and Abdelsalam JOURNAL OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENCES, 69, 34–47

From June 24th to July 3rd I have been to Baja California, Mexico, together with colleagues of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for a field analysis of the rifting events that controlled the development of the Gulf of California.

We have presented our book on the Ethiopian rift valley at the headquarters of the National Research Council of Italy in Rome on June 14, 11am. Franco Barberi and Carlo Doglioni, together with the Authors, introduced the book. This presentation was followed by an overview of the main research activities currently carried out in the Ethiopian rift valley by Italian institutions (short talks have been given by: Marco Ligi, Valerio Acocella, Federico Sani, Mario Sagri, Piero Bruni, Claudio Natali). We thank all the speakers for their contribution to this event.

New paper of interest: Volcanism in the Afar Rift sustained by decompression melting with minimal plume influence by Richert et al. NATURE GEOSCIENCE, 5, 406–409 doi:10.1038/ngeo1455

New paper of interest: Peralkaline magma evolution and the tephra record in the Ethiopian Rift by Rooney et al. CONTRIBUTIONS TO MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY. DOI: 10.1007/s00410-012-0744-6

The book "Geologia e paesaggi della rift valley in Etiopia" is now available online on the Pacini Editore website.

We have presented our new book (in italian) on the geology of the ethiopian rift valley (Giacomo Corti, Piero Manetti "Geologia e paesaggi della rift valley in Etiopia") at the 25th International Book Fair of Torino (May 10th at 2pm, Lingotto Fiere, Padiglione3 stand S18-T17).

We have been to Vienna for the EGU General Assembly 2012 where we have presented 2 posters on Monday, 23 in session TS5.1/GD4.3: Rifted margins and onshore analogues: mechanisms of deformation, sedimentation, and magmatism:

  • Stress and slip partitioning during oblique rifting: comparison between data from the Main Ethiopian Rift and laboratory experiments (download abstract)
  • Quaternary volcano-tectonic activity of the western rift margin in the Soddo region, southern Main Ethiopian Rift (download abstract)

New paper of interest: Upper Mantle Pollution during Afar Plume-Continental Rift Interaction by Rooney et al. JOURNALOF PETROLOGY, VOLUME 53 NUMBER 2 PAGES 365-389. doi:10.1093/petrology/egr065

New paper of interest: Lithospheric strength and strain localization in continental extension from observations of the East African Rift by Kogan et al. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 117, B03402, 16 PP., 2012 doi:10.1029/2011JB008516

Interesting papers on rifting (Afar, mid-ocean ridges) published on the last issue of Nature Geoscience

A summary of the paper by G.Corti "Evolution and characteristics of continental rifting: analogue modeling-inspired view and comparison with examples from the East African Rift System" published on Tectonophysics is now available on the mantleplumes website


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: | Telephone: +390552757524