Geojournal W11: Continental plate spitting? There’s a (Tec)tonic for that…

When you first heard about Pangea, did you think it’d be cool to see the continents move?

Well, it turns out, we can. Slowly, as it’s a slow process, but thanks to satellite imaging, and GPS, we can get a picture of continents that have yet to stop. They’re just moving very, very slowly.

Thanks to our eyes in the sky, we can see some really cool things we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. For instance, in Ethiopia, there is a 35 mile long rift that was not there 20 years ago. There, the continental plate is splitting. It’s been attributed to a mantel plume, forcing the separation of the plates. Interestingly, the new plate being formed has more in common with oceanic crust than continental, which according to the article, is a very rare occurrence.


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