Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scientists predict northeast Ethiopia to disappear under water

Cracks along Ethiopia's Afar region surface has already opened up, some has reportedly swallowed up goats and camels. As tectonic plates in Northeast Ethiopia and eastern Eritrea pull apart, the Afar region will be flooded by the Red Sea overtime and disappear under water, according to scientists.

A giant underground reservoir of molten rock has been discovered under the deserts of Ethiopia by British geologists, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

They targeted the Afar region in the Horn of Africa after a recent surge in volcanic activity and earthquakes plus the appearance of giant cracks in the rocky surface. Tectonic plates in the area are pulling apart and gradually creating a new ocean.

Now, the scientists have mapped the colossal underground lake of magma that lies up to 20 miles (32km) below the earth's surface.

"We estimate that there is 3,000 cubic kilometers of molten rock under Afar -- enough to cover all of London ... with around a kilometer of rock," said Kathy Whaler, professor of geophysics at Edinburgh University.

The reservoir is under such pressure that it has forced tongues of molten rock up towards the surface, producing eruptions and earthquakes.


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