Study Finds Giant 'Superplume' Slowly...

Study Finds Giant 'Superplume' Slowly Splitting Africa In Two

There are 1 comment on the Switched story from Aug 6, 2014, titled Study Finds Giant 'Superplume' Slowly Splitting Africa In Two. In it, Switched reports that:

The Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania is part of a volcano system in the Great Rift Valley, where the continent of Africa is slowly splitting in two.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Switched.

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

formerly Nuneaton

#1 Aug 11, 2014
Nice article.

Seismic tomography highlighted a large plume of low density mid mantle material under NW Zimbabwe about 12 years ago. This one is a rising plume that is likely to become a large igneous province in the next 10 million years or so, & appears to be responsible for South Africa in particular going up in the world, producing spectacular coastal mountains on the edge of the former continental plain.

Cause of that plume appears to have been the delamination & sinking of a keel of diamondiferous eclogite down to the core during either the rise of the Ethiopian or the Virunga hotspot in the past. My best guess is the Ethiopian hotspot as the Virunga is closer to the main pan African mountain belt, where Cratonic crust is hard to find, The Virunga hotspot may have been the culprit however as it is low activity & quite old & is feeding all of the central African volcanic provinces erupting through thin bits of the overlying continental crust (a bit like bubbles of gas under an ice plate).

Spreading is most likely after the arrival of the Zimbabwe large igneous province plume @ the surface. The extra uplift & spreading kick is likely to force subduction in the South India-Aceh line of the indo/Australasian plate, forcing the Somali plate NE. and also moving the entire Carlsberg & mid Indian ridge with it as a mobile slow spreading centre.

One other superplume also identified lies under the Fiji plateau which is also going up in the world & is rifting in all sorts of weird radial ways. It is separated from the Australasian plate by the Vanuatu & Hunter ridge subduction zones, & also from the pacific plate by the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone. Result is that Australasia plate motion may divert from N. to WNW, and finally NW. as a result of the impact of both plumes

Ho hum, another future plate continent configuration model in the bin, time to set up a new one.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Natural Disasters Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Gay man legally donates blood after a year with... 7 hr Pardon Me 18
News Chicago's lame winter - is Canada to blame? 22 hr maybe 1
News Which emits more carbon dioxide: volcanoes or h... (Jul '16) 23 hr Nick10 3
News Global warming made Paris floods far more likel... (Jun '16) Tue Calvin 146
News Obesity in dogs sparks epidemic of canine arthr... Tue LIFELONG IMMUNITY 1
News Clinton Inc exposed for what it was Mon Ahahahahahaha 1
News Recycled wastewater to give Los Angeles County ... (Nov '15) Jan 16 Dudley 6
More from around the web