FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Earth is an ever changing planet and most changes that happen to Earth aren’t noticeable to the naked eye.
The East African Rift System, which is one of the biggest geological wonders of the world, is undergoing some changes.
A large crack formed in southwestern Kenya and it stretches 35 miles in the Ethiopian desert.
In this region, the earth’s tectonic forces are trying to create brand new plates by splitting apart the old ones.
Scientists believe this complex geological process will eventually split Africa into two pieces and create a new ocean basin.
Believe it or not, this process has happened before.
The Arabian plate has been moving away from Africa which resulted in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
There are a few questions as to why this is happening.
Some scientists speculate there’s heat or magma beneath East Africa that is causing a weak spot resulting in a rift.
Recently, GPS and satellite imagery has helped scientists make more accurate measurements of this rift.
In turn, the data will help scientists to better understand what is happening underground.
At the end of the day, this splitting process is expected to take millions of years.
Each tectonic plate in this region is moving and it will eventually create a mid-ocean ridge system.
Scientists believe Africa will have a new shape and a new ocean will form.