continental rifting

Rift linkage and rotating microplates

Rift linkage and rotating microplates

2020 left your head spinning? This week Derek Neuharth from GFZ Potsdam introduces us to the spinning microplates that can be found in extensional plate boundaries such as the East African Rift System and the East Pacific Rise. Divergent plate boundaries Microplates are enigmatic features that form in the boundaries between tectonic plates. Generally, plate boundary dynamics are divided into three ...[Read More]

What can we learn from geodynamic failure?

Artwork reading

In this week’s post, Mohamed Gouiza discusses the challenges of living under constant stress, paralysed by the possibility of failure and self-perceived inevitability of impending breakup. Continental rifting, of course! Oh… did you think I was talking about life as a researcher? Under tensile stress, the lithosphere stretches, the asthenosphere rises, the crust fails, and rifts form. During this ...[Read More]

What controls Victoria microplate rotation in the East African Rift?

Lake Magadi, Kenya.

This week in News & Views, Anne Glerum, postdoc at GFZ Potsdam, discusses how her numerical models support a lithosphere-driven mechanism for the rotation of large continental microplates, like Victoria in the East African Rift System. The East African Rift System (EARS) is a newly forming divergent boundary between the Nubian and Somalian plates (Fig. 1). The plate boundary system includes se ...[Read More]