Birth of a new ocean! That is what the Ethiopian, American and European researchers claim. In the remote northeast, they have observed a fissure in a desert, which they claim to be the birth of a new ocean basin. This fissure is split open in September in the Afar desert. Researchers from Britain, France, Italy and the U.S. have been observing this 37-mile long fissure. But they estimate, it will take a million years to fully form into an ocean. The fissure formed in just three weeks after a Sept. 14 earthquake in a barren region called Boina, is now 13 feet wide. The region is some 621 miles north east of the capital. The findings have been presented at a weeklong American Geophysical Union meeting recently held in San Francisco.
“It’s amazing. It’s the first large event we’ve seen like this in a rift zone since the advent of some of the space-based techniques we’re now using, and which give us a resolution and a detail to see what’s really going on and how the earth processes work.” Cindy Ebinger of the Royal Holloway University of London said.