Magmatic rifting and active volcanism: introduction

Wright, Tim J.; Ayele, Atalay; Ferguson, David; Kidane, Tesfaye; Vye-Brown, Charlotte. 2016 Magmatic rifting and active volcanism: introduction. In: Wright, Tim J.; Ayele, Atalay; Ferguson, David; Kidane, Tesfaye; Vye-Brown, Charlotte, (eds.) Magmatic rifting and active volcanism. Geological Society of London, 1-9. (Geological Society Special Publication, 420).

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A major rifting episode began in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia in September 2005. Over a 10-day period, c. 2.5 km3 of magma were intruded into the upper crust along a 60 km-long dyke separating the Arabian and Nubian plates. There was an intense seismic swarm and a small rhyolitic eruption; extension of up to 10 m occurred across the rift segment. Over the next five years, a further 13 dyke intrusions caused continued extension, eruptions and seismicity. The activity in Afar led to a renewed international focus on the role of magmatism in rifting, with major collaborative projects involving researchers from Ethiopia, the UK, the USA, France, Italy and New Zealand working in Afar and Ethiopia to study the ongoing activity and to place it in a broader context. This book brings together articles that explore the role of magmatism in rifting, from the initiation of continental break-up through to full seafloor spreading. We also explore the hazards related to rifting and the associated volcanism. This renewed focus on magmatism and its role in rifting has implications for our understanding of how continents break-up and the associated distribution of resources in rift basins and continental margins.

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Date made live: 03 Oct 2016 13:57 +0 (UTC)

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