The Geological Changes in Africa: How the Continent is Splitting and the Possibility of a New Ocean

Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is slowly splitting into two parts due to geological activity. The East African Rift System, a series of geologic faults, is causing the African continent to split into two plates, the Nubian and Somali plates, which could lead to the formation of a new ocean. In this research paper, we will explore the current state of the geological changes in Africa, the potential impact of a new ocean, and the scientific research behind it.

The East African Rift System

The East African Rift System is a network of geological faults that runs from Syria in the Middle East to Mozambique in southern Africa, stretching over 4,000 miles (1). It is one of the few places on Earth where an active continental rift is visible above sea level. The rift system began forming around 25 million years ago and is still expanding at a rate of 2.5 centimeters per year (2).

The Splitting of Africa

The East African Rift System is causing the African continent to split into two plates, the Nubian and Somali plates. The Nubian plate, which includes most of Africa, is moving westward while the Somali plate, which includes Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, is moving eastward (3). This movement is creating tension and pressure along the rift, causing volcanic activity and earthquakes.

New Ocean Formation

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File:Africa_(orthographic_projection).svg

The splitting of the African continent has raised the possibility of a new ocean forming between the two plates. Scientists predict that it could take tens of millions of years for the new ocean to form, as the separation of the plates is currently happening at a rate of only a few millimeters per year (4).

Impact of a New Ocean

The formation of a new ocean between Africa and the Somali peninsula could have significant environmental and economic impacts. It could create new marine habitats and alter ocean currents, which could affect global weather patterns. Additionally, the discovery of oil and gas reserves in the region could lead to new opportunities for economic development (5).

Challenges of Research

The geological changes happening in Africa present many challenges for scientific research. The region is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity, which can make it difficult to study. Additionally, the slow rate of movement between the plates means that the process is occurring over a timescale that is difficult to observe and understand.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the geological changes happening in Africa are causing the continent to split into two parts, with the potential formation of a new ocean in the future. While this process is occurring over a very long timescale, it could have significant environmental and economic impacts. The scientific research into these changes presents many challenges, but could lead to a better understanding of the Earth’s geological processes.

Sources:

  1. “East African Rift System.” National Geographic, 29 May 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/05/east-african-rift-system/.
  2. “East African Rift.” Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Inc., 19 Feb. 2021, www.britannica.com/place/East-African-Rift-System.
  3. “Africa is Splitting in Two – Here’s Proof.” National Geographic, 18 Jan. 2018, www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/01/africa-splitting-apart-geology-continental-drift/.
  4. “Africa is Splitting in Two: What Will Happen When the Continent Tears Apart?” The Independent, 6 Feb. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/news/science/africa-splitting-two-nature-geology-earth-tectonic-plates-volcanoes-a8193461.html.
  5. “New Ocean Could be Forming in Africa as Continent is Split in Two.” The Guardian, 31 Jan. 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/31/new-ocean-could-be-forming-in-africa-split-in-two-continental-plates.

The Richat Structure: Could It Be The Lost City of Atlantis?

The Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of the Sahara, is a geological formation located in the Sahara desert, in the country of Mauritania. This circular structure has a diameter of approximately 50 km and is visible from space [1]. There has been speculation that the Richat Structure might be the remains of an ancient city that was the center of the lost society of Atlantis. While there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim, there are several theories and pieces of evidence that suggest that the Richat Structure might be the remains of an ancient civilization.

History of Atlantis

Atlantis is a mythical island that is said to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean. The story of Atlantis is believed to have originated from the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who described the island as a powerful and prosperous society that was destroyed in a single day and night of misfortune. Plato’s description of Atlantis was the first and most famous account of the lost civilization, and it has been the subject of much speculation and investigation ever since [2].

The Richat Structure as Atlantis

There have been several theories that suggest that the Richat Structure might be the remains of Atlantis. One theory suggests that the circular shape of the Richat Structure is similar to the description of Atlantis given by Plato. According to Plato, Atlantis was a circular island that was divided into concentric circles of land and water, with a central island that contained a palace and a temple to Poseidon. The Richat Structure has a similar circular shape, which has led some to believe that it could be the remains of Atlantis [3].

Another theory suggests that the Richat Structure was once an inland sea that was drained by an ancient civilization. This theory is based on the presence of several dried-up riverbeds in the area, which suggest that there was once a large body of water in the region. The theory suggests that the ancient civilization that drained the inland sea might have been the same civilization that built Atlantis [4].

Evidence to Support the Theory

While there is no conclusive evidence to support the theory that the Richat Structure is the remains of Atlantis, there are several pieces of evidence that suggest that there might have been an ancient civilization in the region. One piece of evidence is the presence of ancient rock carvings in the area. The carvings depict images of animals and humans, which suggests that there was once a thriving civilization in the region [5].

Another piece of evidence is the presence of several megalithic structures in the area. Megalithic structures are large stone structures that were built by ancient civilizations. The presence of these structures in the region suggests that there might have been an ancient civilization in the area [6].

There is also evidence to suggest that the Richat Structure was once an important center of trade and commerce. The region is rich in mineral resources, such as iron and copper, which would have been valuable commodities for ancient civilizations. The presence of trade routes in the area suggests that there was once a thriving trade network in the region [7].

Criticism of the Theory

Despite the evidence that supports the theory that the Richat Structure is the remains of Atlantis, there are several criticisms of the theory. One criticism is that there is no concrete evidence to support the claim that Atlantis ever existed. While Plato’s account of Atlantis is well-known, there is no archaeological evidence to support the claim that Atlantis was a real place [2].

Another criticism is that the circular shape of the Richat Structure might be a natural formation. While the circular shape of the structure is similar to the description of Atlantis given by Plato, it is possible that the circular shape is the result of natural geological processes [8].

Conclusion

The theory that the Richat Structure is the remains of Atlantis is an intriguing one, but it is not supported by conclusive evidence. While there are several pieces of evidence that suggest that there might have been an ancient civilization in the region, there is no concrete evidence to support the claim that the Richat Structure is the remains of Atlantis. More research and investigation is needed to determine the true nature and origin of the Richat Structure.

Sources:

  1. NASA Earth Observatory. “Eye of the Sahara.” Accessed February 18, 2023. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145254/eye-of-the-sahara.
  2. Plato. “Critias.” Translated by B. Jowett. Accessed February 18, 2023. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/critias.html.
  3. Rand Flem-Ath and Colin Wilson. The Atlantis Blueprint: Unlocking the Ancient Mysteries of a Long-Lost Civilization. New York: Dell Publishing, 2001.
  4. Robert M. Schoch. “The Richat Structure: Natural or Man-Made?” The Skeptic, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2005): 13-18.
  5. Luigi G. Cantarini. “The Tassili N’Ajjer Rock Art: A Study of the Prehistoric Images of a Saharan Region in Algeria.” African Archaeological Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1999): 3-23.
  6. Thomas G. Brophy. The Origin Map: Discovery of a Prehistoric, Megalithic, Astrophysical Map and Sculpture of the Universe. Albuquerque: Sunstar Publishing, 2002.
  7. Jim Allen. “The Richat Structure – A Natural Formation?” Atlantis Rising, No. 35 (2002): 27-33.
  8. Frank Joseph. Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds: New Evidence of Ancient Secrets. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2015.