Thursday, December 11, 2008

Event that breaks continents apart

ScienceDaily (Dec. 11, 2008)

Researchers have captured for the first time a geological event considered key in shaping the Earth's landscape. An international research team led by Eric Calais, a Purdue University professor of geophysics, was able to measure ground displacements as two tectonic plates in Africa moved apart and molten rock pushed its way toward the surface during the first so-called "dyking event" ever recorded within the planet's continental crust.

The event left a wall of magma 6 miles long and 5 feet wide wedged between the two plates. A paper detailing the event will be published Dec. 11 in Nature.

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