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Erta-Ale volcano in the Danakil desert
Erta Ale, Danakil, Volcano, Ethiopia, active, deset, lava, magma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Danakil desert in Ethiopia, sometime called Afar depression, is located on the north-east of Ethiopia.  Being one of the hottest places in Africa, and in parts it lays below sea level,  the desert is part of  the great rift valley (also known as the Great Syrian-African Rift ).

The Great Rift Valley is a 6,000-mile crack (fissure) in the earth’s crust, stretching from Syria in the north to Mozambique in the south.   Geologists know that the Rift Valley was formed by violent subterranean forces that tore apart the earth’s crust. These forces caused huge pieces of the crust to sink between parallel fault lines. this process is called rifting.

The uniqueness of  Afar depression is that it is the only place in the world where a continental plate (Arabia-Africa) is  presently breaking apart such that a new ocean is currently  being formed.

Even more: Here there is a unique point where three plates (continents) are separating from each other. It is called the Tectonic Triple Junction.

The area is tectonic sensitive, meaning that there are a continuous earthquakes, Volcano eruptions, fissures(cracks)

hundreds of meters long and deep appearing in the ground.

Evidence that rifting is still in progress comes from the many active and semi-active volcanoes, located along the Rift, as well as numerous boiling hot springs.

One of the active volcanoes, located in the Danakil, is Erta-Ale VolcanoOne of Earth’s five lava lakes.

One can climb for three hours on the black  slops of the mountain, sit at night just on the rim of the caldera, and get instant Geology  lesson.. very unique  experience!

 

 

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