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Aborted propagation of the Ethiopian rift caused by linkage with the Kenyan rift

Aborted propagation of the Ethiopian rift caused by linkage with the Kenyan rift
Aborted propagation of the Ethiopian rift caused by linkage with the Kenyan rift
Continental rift systems form by propagation of isolated rift segments that interact, and eventually evolve into continuous zones of deformation. This process impacts many aspects of rifting including rift morphology at breakup, and eventual ocean-ridge segmentation. Yet, rift segment growth and interaction remain enigmatic. Here we present geological data from the poorly documented Ririba rift (South Ethiopia) that reveals how two major sectors of the East African rift, the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts, interact. We show that the Ririba rift formed from the southward propagation of the Ethiopian rift during the Pliocene but this propagation was short-lived and aborted close to the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary. Seismicity data support the abandonment of laterally offset, overlapping tips of the Ethiopian and Kenyan rifts. Integration with new numerical models indicates that rift abandonment resulted from progressive focusing of the tectonic and magmatic activity into an oblique, throughgoing rift zone of near pure extension directly connecting the rift sectors.
2041-1723
1-11
Corti, Giacomo
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Cioni, Raffaello
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Franceschini, Zara
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Sani, Federico
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Scaillet, Stephane
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Molin, Paola
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Isola, Ilaria
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Mazzarini, Francesco
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Brune, Sascha
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Keir, Derek
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Erbello, Asfaw
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Muluneh, Ameha
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Illsley-Kemp, Finnigan
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Glerum, Anne
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Corti, Giacomo
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Cioni, Raffaello
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Franceschini, Zara
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Sani, Federico
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Scaillet, Stephane
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Molin, Paola
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Isola, Ilaria
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Mazzarini, Francesco
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Brune, Sascha
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Keir, Derek
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Erbello, Asfaw
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Muluneh, Ameha
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Illsley-Kemp, Finnigan
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Glerum, Anne
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Corti, Giacomo, Cioni, Raffaello, Franceschini, Zara, Sani, Federico, Scaillet, Stephane, Molin, Paola, Isola, Ilaria, Mazzarini, Francesco, Brune, Sascha, Keir, Derek, Erbello, Asfaw, Muluneh, Ameha, Illsley-Kemp, Finnigan and Glerum, Anne (2019) Aborted propagation of the Ethiopian rift caused by linkage with the Kenyan rift. Nature Communications, 10 (1309), 1-11. (doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09335-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Continental rift systems form by propagation of isolated rift segments that interact, and eventually evolve into continuous zones of deformation. This process impacts many aspects of rifting including rift morphology at breakup, and eventual ocean-ridge segmentation. Yet, rift segment growth and interaction remain enigmatic. Here we present geological data from the poorly documented Ririba rift (South Ethiopia) that reveals how two major sectors of the East African rift, the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts, interact. We show that the Ririba rift formed from the southward propagation of the Ethiopian rift during the Pliocene but this propagation was short-lived and aborted close to the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary. Seismicity data support the abandonment of laterally offset, overlapping tips of the Ethiopian and Kenyan rifts. Integration with new numerical models indicates that rift abandonment resulted from progressive focusing of the tectonic and magmatic activity into an oblique, throughgoing rift zone of near pure extension directly connecting the rift sectors.

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s41467-019-09335-2 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 7 March 2019
Published date: 21 March 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429837
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429837
ISSN: 2041-1723
PURE UUID: 8d82c018-2261-44cc-933b-6356b11f49f5
ORCID for Derek Keir: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8787-8446
ORCID for Finnigan Illsley-Kemp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7114-033X

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Date deposited: 08 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Apr 2019 00:32

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Contributors

Author: Giacomo Corti
Author: Raffaello Cioni
Author: Zara Franceschini
Author: Federico Sani
Author: Stephane Scaillet
Author: Paola Molin
Author: Ilaria Isola
Author: Francesco Mazzarini
Author: Sascha Brune
Author: Derek Keir ORCID iD
Author: Asfaw Erbello
Author: Ameha Muluneh
Author: Anne Glerum

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