Journal: New Ocean, Lost Aquifers

12 Water

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Giant Crack in Africa Will Create a New Ocean

A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm.

The crack, 20 feet wide in spots, opened in 2005 and some geologists believed then that it would spawn a new ocean. But that view was controversial, and the rift had not been well studied.

A new study involving an international team of scientists and reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the processes creating the rift are nearly identical to what goes on at the bottom of oceans, further indication a sea is in the region's future.

The same rift activity is slowly parting the Red Sea, too.

Phi Beta Iota: This is good news.  Oceans and access to oceans lift people from poverty.  The bad news is that the world is not treating clean drinkable water as the scarce good that it is, with the result that aquifers around the world are dropping a meter a year.  When salt water enters an aquifer, it is destroyed for 10,000 years.  Below is our graphic on water and wars over water.

World War IV
World War IV

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