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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - How Oceans Form The African Rift

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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

Lecture 3 - How Oceans Form: The African Rift Monday, January 23, 2012 12:51 AM No required reading for this lecture. The African Rift from Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel Uniformitarianism Catastrophism Vertical Tectonics Rifts  Rifts widen into young oceans  Failed rifts are preserved in modern continents from the break up of Pangea  Triple Junctions and Aulacogens o 3 arms to the rift o Only 2 of the arms "grow up" and become active o The third cracks and never develops o Failed rifts fill up with sediment and contain a lot of oil and gas o The St. Lawrence is sitting right on top of a failed rift o When they are reactivated, there are intra margin earthquakes o There are triple junctions all over the world  Flood basalts o Decompression melting  Mantle plumes in low pressure o Basalt - iron and magnesium rich rock  Very fluid, like blood How Oceans Grow Stage 1: East African Rift Continent undergoes extension. The crust is thinned and a rift valley forms. Stage 2: Red Sea Continent tears in two. Continent edges are faulted and uplifted. Basalt eruptions form oceanic crust. Stage 3: Atlantic Ocean Conti
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