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AFRICA Earthquakes, Volcanoes, rift, seismic news
Violent Seismic Activity Tearing Africa in Two
January 2011 High-Speed Geology
The fissures began appearing years ago. But in recent months, seismic activity has accelerated in northeastern Africa as the continent breaks apart in slow motion. Researchers say that lava in the region is consistent with magma normally seen on the sea floor -- and that water will ultimately cover the desert.
Cynthia Ebinger, a geologist from the University of Rochester in New York, could hardly believe what the caller from the deserts of Ethiopia was saying. It was an employee at a mineralogy company -- and he reported that the famous Erta Ale volcano in northeastern Ethiopia was erupting. Ebinger, who has studied the volcano for years, was taken aback. The volcano's crater had always been filled with a bubbling soup of silver-black lava, but it had been decades since its last eruption.
The call came last November. And Ebinger immediately flew to Ethiopia with some fellow researchers. "The volcano was bubbling over; flaming-red lava was shooting up into the sky," Ebinger told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
The earth is in upheaval in northeastern Africa, and the region is changing quickly. The desert floor is quaking and splitting open, volcanoes are boiling over, and seawaters are encroaching upon the land. Africa, researchers are certain, is splitting apart at a rate rarely seen in geology.
The first fracture appeared millions of years ago, resulting in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The second fracture, stretching south from Ethiopia to Mozambique, is known as the Great Rift Valley, and it is lined with several volcanoes. Millions of years from now, it too will be filled with seawater.
Could Go Quickly
But in the Danakil Depression, in the northern part of the valley, the ocean could arrive much sooner. There, low, 25 meter (82 foot) hills are the only thing holding back the waters of the Red Sea. The land behind them has already dropped dozens of meters from previous levels and white salt deposits on the desert floor testify to past encroachments of the sea. But lava soon choked off its access.
For now, no one can really say when the sea will finally flood the desert. But when it does, it could go quickly. "The hills could sink in a matter of days," Tim Wright, a fellow at the University of Leeds' School of Earth and Environment, said at a recent conference hosted by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.
In the last five years, the geologic transformation of northeastern Africa has "accelerated dramatically," says Wright. Indeed, the process is going much faster than many had anticipated. In recent years, geologists had measured just a few millimeters of movement each year. "But now the earth is opening up by the meter," says Loraine Field, a scholar at the University of Bristol who also attended the conference.
Earth tremors cause deep fissures to form in the desert floor and the ground in East Africa is shattering like broken glass. Researchers in the Gulf of Tadjoura, which juts into Djibouti from the Gulf of Aden, have recently registered a barrage of seismic shocks. "The quakes are happening on the mid-ocean ridge," Ebinger reports.
Shifting Tectonic Plates
Lava gushes out of fissures in these underwater mountain ranges to constantly create new earth crust -- when it hardens, it becomes part of the sea floor. As the magma surges upward, it spreads the ocean floor on both sides, shifting tectonic plates and causing tremors.
In recent months, the quaking in the Gulf of Tadjoura has been getting closer and closer to the coastline. As Ebinger explains, the splitting of the ocean floor will gradually extend to dry land. This is already the case along some fault lines in the Ethiopian desert, creating a geological spectacle that can otherwise only be witnessed deep below the surface of the ocean.
Even the pattern of earthquakes supports the conclusion that the desert landscape is transforming into a deep seafloor, according to a recent article in the Journal of Geophysical Research published by Zhaohui Yang and Wang-Ping Chen, two geologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The researchers have recorded several strong earthquakes at a shallow depth in northeastern Africa similar to ones that are otherwise only seen on mid-ocean ridges far out at sea.
In recent months, researchers have also recorded an up-tick in volcanic activity. Indeed, geologists have discovered volcanic eruptions near the earth's surface at 22 places in the Afar Triangle in northeastern Africa. Magma has caused fissures up to eight meters (26 feet) wide to open up in the ground, reports Derek Keir from the University of Leeds. While most of the magma remains beneath the surface, in places like Erta Ale it has made its way above ground.
An Ocean Without Water
Scientists have also noted that the kind of magma bubbling up in the region is the type otherwise only seen spewing forth from mid-ocean ridges deep below the water's surface. One of its signature characteristics is a low proportion of silicic acid. The magma coming out of Erta Ale has the same chemical composition as the kind that emerges from deep-sea volcanoes. The entire region increasingly resembles an ocean floor -- one without water.
The new burst in activity began in 2005, when a 60-kilometer-long fissure suddenly formed in the Afar Depression. Since then, roughly 3.5 cubic kilometers of magma have gushed forth, according to Tim Wright -- enough to cover the entire area of London to an average person's height.
From a geological perspective, the speed with which the magma is pushing forth is astonishing. It has been channeling its way through the rock below the earth's surface at speeds of up to 30 meters per minute, reports Eric Jacques from the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris. Satellite measurements attest to the consequences: In one 200-kilometer stretch welling up with magma, the ground looks like asphalt on a hot summer day. Magma is also pooling up under the Dabbahu Volcano in northern Ethiopia, Lorraine Field reported in San Francisco.
Continuing to Expand
The satellite data has also shown that a much larger area has been scarred by fissures than previously assumed, says Keir. Subterranean currents of magma are also causing ground temperatures to spike in eastern Egypt, a team of geologists from Egypt's National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics recently reported in Seismological Research Letters. At the AGU conference, Columbia University's James Gaherty reported that magma eruptions have ripped a 17-kilometer gash into the desert floor in the northern part of Malawi and that the lateral pressure they have exerted has even lifted the surrounding earth up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) in places.
The most violent upsurge of magma in recent years, though, happened in an unexpected place. In May 2009, a subterranean volcano erupted in Saudi Arabia. A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 accompanied by tens of thousands of milder tremors forced 30,000 to seek shelter. Magma spewed out of the ground in an area about the size of Berlin and Hamburg combined, Sigurjon Jonsson from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology reported at the AGU meeting. The fact that the eruption took place almost 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from the fault line in North Africa "surprised all of us," says Cynthia Ebinger. And the world's largest geological construction site continues to expand. Loraine Field confirms that more and more magna is pushing its way to the earth's surface, adding that: "The magma chamber is reloading."
Oxford University's David Ferguson predicts a considerable increase in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the region over the next decade. They will, he says, "become of increasingly large magnitude."
AFRICA Earthquakes have hit Eritrea-Ethiopia regions
June 13, 2011 A swarm of earthquakes have hit the Eritrea-Ethiopia regions in north-west Africa today, sparking fears of increased volcanic activity.
From 6.35 am to to 9.35 am today (NZ time), the region has been hit by 14 quakes ranging in size from 4.3 to 5.7 (two).
Quake swarm in east Africa
Monday, June 13, 2011 at 12:03:23 AM at epicenter
5.7 quake the strongest hits Eritrea, Yemen, Ethiopia area
This is the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, and the edge of Arabian Sea.
Eritrean volcano ash reaches Israel
June 14, 2011 The ash cloud from Dubbi, an Eritrean volcano (east Africa) has arrived over the south of Israel including southern Jerusalem.
Dubbi, a long-dormant volcano in Eritrea, erupted after a series of earthquakes and sent a plume of ash into the air.
The ash has led to the cancellation of some flights to East Africa from different countries of the Middle East and Europe
German airline Lufthansa cancelled flights to Eritrea and Ethiopia.
5.5 quake WNW of Assab, Eritrea
June 17, 2011 - More earthquakes .. we can perhaps assume more volcanic eruptions.
5.7 Uganda earthquake Lake Albert Region July 3, 2013
Posted <*))))>< by
ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis
East African Rift System
I find this fascinating - read it!
Africa's New Ocean: A Continent Splits Apart
March 2006 The Afar Triangle near the Horn of Africa.
A new ocean is forming there with staggering speed - at least by geological standards.
Africa will eventually lose its horn.
There are 2 Rift Systems
East Africa and Lebanon thru Israel along Jordan River to Dead Sea
East African Rift System
Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Lake Kivu
East African Rift System, also called Afro-Arabian Rift Valley, one of the most extensive rifts on the Earth’s surface, extending from Jordan in southwestern Asia southward through eastern Africa to Mozambique. The system is some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long and averages 30–40 miles (48–64 km) wide.
The main branch, the Eastern Rift Valley often called the Great Rift Valley extends along the entire length of the system. In the north the rift is occupied by the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. It continues southward along the Red Sea and into Ethiopia and Kenya. The rift continues southward to the coast of the Indian Ocean.
East Africa's Great Rift Valley
The East African Rift System (EARS) is one the geologic wonders of the world, a place where the earth's tectonic forces are splitting apart. Its a fracture in the earth's surface that widens over time.
The Nubian Plate makes up most of Africa, while the smaller plate that is pulling away has been named the Somalian Plate. These two plates are moving away from each other,
All the rifting in East Africa is not confined to the Horn of Africa; there is a lot of rifting activity further south as well, extending into Kenya and Tanzania and Great Lakes region of Africa. maps here
The Great Rift Valley is a name given to the continuous geographic trench, approximately 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) in length, that runs from Lebanon's Beqaa Valley in Asia to Mozambique in South Eastern Africa
East African rift system (EARS)
EARS) as an intra-continental ridge system, comprising an axial rift.
East African Rift
East Africa quakes
East Africa's Great Rift Valley runs along a geological fault line, but has largely escaped major quakes in recent years. A 6.8 earthquake hit eastern Congo, near Lake Tanganyika and the Tanzanian border. The shocks were felt in Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. In 2008 Lake Kivu had a strong earthquake. I have recorded several lesser quakes in the area.
Congo quake 2005
Africa's New Ocean
2006 - Continent Splits Apart, East Africa could split off the continent.
For the first time ever, human beings were able to witness the first stages in the birth of an ocean. A new ocean is forming at the Afar Triangle near the Horn of Africa. Africa will eventually lose its horn. Geologists from Addis Ababa University were frightened as they stepped out of their helicopter in central Ethiopia when the ground began to shake under their feet. They quickly got back to the helicopter and the Earth split open. Crevices began racing toward the researchers like a zipper opening up. As they recovered from their shock, they realized they had just witnessed history.
AFRICA Congo Nyamuragira volcano
July 19, 2013 – CONGO, Africa – Recent NASA satellite images from 11 June 2013 show a thick steam and gas plume rising from a pit crater in the summit caldera of Nyamuragira volcano. No evidence of lava close to the surface was found, while the lava lake in neighboring Nyiragongo remains well active and visible on the same images. Nyamuragira’s plume was rich in water vapor — which condenses rapidly in the humid tropical air — and sulfur dioxide, which lends a blue tint in natural-color satellite imagery. Carbon dioxide, fluorine, and chlorine gas are also found in Nyamuragira lavas and likely present in the gas plume. Located near the eastern boundary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nyamuragira is one of Africa’s most active volcanoes. If degassing magma was near the surface, then the intense heat would cause a bright red glow in shortwave infrared light. No such glow is visible atop Nyamuragira, but it is present on neighboring Nyiragongo Volcano, which has featured a lava lake for more than a decade. The images were collected on June 11, 2013, by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8. In natural color (top), the rainforest is dark green, clouds are white, and the sulfur-rich volcanic plume is very light blue. Barren land at Nyamuragira’s summit and lava flows is brown or black. In false-color, clouds are mostly white and volcanic plumes are cyan. Forest and other vegetation is bright green. Fresh lava flows from the 2011–12 eruption of Nyamuragira are black, and older lava flows appear as brown tendrils running down the mountain’s flanks. Agricultural fields in the southeast (lower right) corner of the image also appear brown. –Volcano Discovery
Increased activity at Peru volcano – eruption warning issued for African volcano
April 11, 2014 GEOLOGY – A seismic crisis is under way at the volcano and the volcano observatory in Goma thinks that a new eruption in coming days or weeks is likely. “The eruption of Nyamulagira (Congo) will have no impact on the famous volcano Nyiragongo, whose activity is in a normal state,” said Kaco Karume, member of the Volcanic Observatory of Goma (OVG). Nyamuragira (also spelled Nyamulagira) volcano is located 22 km north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. It erupts on average every 2 years. Its last eruption was in late 2011-early 2012. –Volcano Discovery
Ethiopian volcano spews gas
June 1, 2014 AFRICA – New Scientist interviewed French photographer Olivier Grunewald, who captures striking images of nature like the Dallol volcano, located in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia’s Afar region. Grunewald’s work uses no filters or digital enhancement, and the results are stunning. To capture the Ethiopian volcano, Grunewald waited until after dusk, when the blue flames were more visible against the night sky.
Wondering where the blue effect comes from? The Dallol volcano’s lava is still red, like other volcanoes — the blue color appears when the flames mix with deadly sulphuric gases. Grunewald must wear a gas mask while working, but he says it’s worth the risk to experience nature’s wonders. “The phenomenon is so uncommon,” he told New Scientist. “We really feel like we are on another planet.” –The Week
4.5 earthquake Red Sea (Between Eritrea Africa and Saudi Arabia) July 11, 2014
5.3 earthquake South Africa
5 Aug 2014 Earthquake shakes buildings in Johannesburg
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck near Johannesburg, South Africa, shaking buildings in the city but there were no immediate reports of any casualties.
The tremor was centred in Orkney, 70 miles southwest of Johannesburg, an area with a high concentration of gold mines.
Quake shakes central South Africa, rocks Johannesburg buildings
South Africa floods
17 Jan 2011 Poppajoe Posted - South Africa and Mozambique floods killed 40 and 9 provinces declared disaster zones.
Heavy rains disrupted freight rail operations, affecting coal and maize exports.
Giant whirlpool churns up ocean south of Africa
February 23, 2012 – A NASA satellite has provided jaw-dropping pictures of a huge ‘storm’ brewing under the sea. The swirling 93 miles wide mass of water was spotted off the coast of South Africa December 26. The sea storms, eddies, form bizarre whirl shaped shapes deep beneath the ocean’s surface. This counter-clockwise eddy is thought to have peeled off from the Agulhas Current, which flows along the southeastern coast of Africa and around the tip of South Africa. Agulhas eddies – also called ‘current rings’ – tend to be among the largest in the world, transporting warm, salty water from the Indian Ocean to the South Atlantic. Agulhas eddies can remove juvenile fish from the continental shelf, reducing catch sizes if one passes through a fishing region. –Daily Mail
South Africa Snowfall
09 Aug 2012 — The snow was part of an extreme cold snap.
Snow remains so unusual that they aren't prepared to provide details.
The snow closed some roads and several border posts.
The snow grew heavier in the afternoon in Johannesburg, covering rooftops and slicking roads. South African Weather Service records show it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 22 other days in the last 103 years.
It snowed in Pretoria during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hellary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968. Who says hell never freezes!
2 inch hailstones hit Gauteng, South Africa Dec 2013
* June 2015 combining several SAfrica nature threads into one
5 killed in Mozambique
January 21, 2012 – Five people died and thousands were affected in the first tropical storm to hit southern Mozambique since 1984. Tropical Storm Dando hit the southern African country with gusts of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour and rainfall of over 200 millimeters (7.8 inches). Heavy rains this week pounded the northern part of neighboring South Africa, causing a down flow into Mozambique that pushed the Komati, Magude and Goba rivers above alert levels, according to the National Water Directorate. Since Tuesday Mozambique’s southern dam Massingir has pushed discharges from 25 cubic meters per second to 5,200 cubic meters per second on Thursday. –Terra Earth
At least 36 people die and some 70,000 are displaced by flooding in Mozambique, according to UN figures - Jan 2013
5.8 Congo earthquake kills 3
August 6, 2015 - A 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Congo killed 3.
The quake hit north of Bukavu, not far from the border with Rwanda, at 3:25 am on Friday.
The quake raised concerns about Mount Nyiragongo active volcano.
Zambia 5.1 earthquake
August 20, 2015 - S Africa borders Congo, Zimbabwe, Angola
EMSC called it Uganda,
5.1 earthquake Africa
Jan 24, 2016 - North of Sudan, south Egypt
Congo volcano about to blow
Mar 26, 2016 - Congo's Nyiragongo volcano is releasing polluted gas, Rwanda Red Cross has warned of an imminent eruption. The volcano releases magma from one pit to another, but once it gets full the magma will have to come out, but people should not panic. OVB Goma Volcano Observatory says on its website that there is an appearance of a secondary lava lake on the east side of the crater of Nyiragongo.
Africa Congo Goma volcano showing signs of life
May 5, 2016 - Earthquakes are rumbling deep below the surface. The movement knocked giant rocks off the crater walls, a new vent appeared on a ledge. Since Feb. 29, the vent explodes about every 30 seconds, throwing lava up to 90 feet in the air. Most of that lava flows back into the volcano, while the rest of it cools in the crater itself.
Goma sits on the shore of Lake Kivu and holds massive amounts of methane and dissolved carbon dioxide because of its proximity to volcanic vents. In 2002 Goma killed 147 people and forced 400,000 people to flee. The eruption effectively split Goma in two, destroying a third of the city. Holy Pompeii Batman!
5.6 earthquake east Afrika
Sep 22, 2016 - Zimbabwe, Mozambique
Strongest earthquake in 11 years hits Mozambique, Africa
As wickedness and darkness grows and grows (which it has done somewhat exponentially over the last century), hell enlargeneth herself!
CJ adds - Isaiah 5.14
13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore hell has enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoices, shall descend into it.
15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
16 dead, 250 injured in Tanzania earthquake
Sep 11, 2016 UPDATE - At least 16 people died and 253 were injured in a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck northwest Tanzania. 840 buildings destroyed, including 44 public buildings.
Sep 10, 2016 - A 5.7-magnitude shallow earthquake shook the Lake Victoria region of East Africa on Saturday. At least 11 dead, 100 injured and the quake caused a lot of damage. The quake was felt as far away as western Kenya and parts of Uganda, which share the waters of Lake Victoria. Tremors were also felt in Kigali, Rwanda.
Hospitals are overrun with injured and rescue efforts are under way to help people trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed structures. Buildings collapsed in Bukoba.
The quake was unusually strong for the region.
5.7 Earthquake hits Tanzania
Sep 10, 2016 - An earthquake measuring 5.7 hit northwest Tanzania, close to Lake Victoria in East central Africa. Rwanda, Uganda felt it also. Some buildings collapsed in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
African great valley rift
5.9 earthquake East African Rift
Feb 24, 2017 - Earthquake strikes Africa's deepest Lake, Tanganyika, affecting Zambia and Tanzania. DEPTH 27 km. There are no reports of casualties. Much of the impact was felt in Kapula Zambia in the western region near the borders of Tanzania and the Congo.
6.5 earthquake Botswana, S Africa
April 3, 2017 - They had a 5.2 quake a few hours ago
Tremor felt as far away as South Africa and Mozambique
Johannesburg rattled by Botswana earthquakes
Botswana tremor is the strongest earthquake to strike mainland Africa in over a decade. Its Botswana’s strongest ever earthquake.
5.0 earthquake SW Botswana April 5, 2017