Massive Crack Forms in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley After Rainfall
— NTV News (@NTVnewsroom) 19 mars 2018
Heavy rainfall is believed to be responsible for exposing a massive crack that formed in the ground in Kenya at the Great Rift Valley – a phenomenon experts say is just the beginning of Africa’s eventual split into two continents.
The fissure occurred at the busy Mai Mahiu-Narok road in Kenya’s Narok County on the morning of March 19, according to the Daily Nation. The rift, which was previously filled with ash from the nearby Mount Longonot, became exposed when the rainfall washed the ash away, the report added.
Experts believe the large crack was caused by movement of the faults, not the rainfall, the Daily Nation also said. The crack measured as deep as 50 feet and about 65 feet wide.
For this part of Africa, it’s just another reminder that the continent is shifting and will likely split into two land masses some 50 million years from now. The rift is occurring as the Nubian tectonic plate moves away from the Somalian plate, and the latter will eventually pull the Horn of Africa away from the rest of the continent, NASA’s Earth Observatory said.
It’s the second time in five years that a crack has opened up at that location in the Rift Valley, the South African said. Engineers were able to fill in the crack and the roadway was reopened last week, the report added, but it’s a clear sign of the changing landscape as the plates drift a few millimeters further apart each day.
“The valley has a history of tectonic and volcanic activities,” geologist David Adede told the Daily Nation. “Whereas the rift has remained tectonically inactive in the recent past, there could be movements deep within the Earth’s crust that have resulted in zones of weakness extending all the way to the surface.”