By Maina wa Njuguna
The cradle of mankind, the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, is splitting apart.
According to Denise Chow of NBC News Science, the hottest expanse of the East African region, deep underground, the tectonic plates are slowly splitting/drifting apart.
Currently, the obvious evidence is a 35-mile-long crack in the Ethiopian desert. This process is said will take a few million years, thereby forming a new ocean basin forming new continents and mountain ranges.
“This is the only place on Earth where you can study how continental rift becomes an oceanic rift,” said Christopher Moore, a Ph.D. doctoral student at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, who has been using satellite radar to monitor volcanic activity in East Africa that is associated with the continent’s breakup.
The Rift is a divergent plate boundary, where the Earth’s tectonic forces are pulling plates apart in the process, creating new continental crust.
The East African Rift is comprised of two main segments –
• The Eastern Branch that passes through Ethiopia 🇪🇹 and Kenya 🇰🇪.
• The Western Branch that forms a giant arc from Uganda 🇺🇬 to Malawi 🇲🇼, interconnecting the famous rift lakes of eastern Africa.
The rift valley stretches over 1,800 miles from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south, splitting the African plate into two unequal parts: the smaller Somali plate and much larger Nubian plate.
WHAT COUNTRIES WILL SPLIT AWAY (SOMALI PLATE)?
Countries that will consist of the Somali plate include (16,700,000 km2 ) –
- Comoros 🇰🇲
- Eswatini 🇸🇿
- Kenya 🇰🇪 (parts of east Kenya)
- Madagascar 🇲🇬
- Mauritius 🇲🇺
- Mozambique 🇲🇿
- Seychelles 🇸🇨
- Somalia 🇸🇴
Uganda 🇺🇬 east will have remnants of Kenya, DR Congo 🇨🇩 are likely to no longer be land locked but have beaches on the eastern front.
Africa’s highest mountains will no longer be in the larger African remains. Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya will be part of the new smaller continental Somali plate.
The larger Nubian plate will consist of parts of Kenya and the rest of African countries. * Kenya 🇰🇪 will be split.