On the African rift system, theoretical and experimental study

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11 Scopus citations


The East African rift system is a product of two separate activities. An ancient process (Precambrian?) resulted in brittle crustal fracture, a deep vertical tensional feature. This defined the principal fracture pattern of the continent. It was initiated by an upward diapiric stress and propagated laterally according to the principles of elastic fracture and bifurcation. Later (Jurassic-Recent) horizontal and vertical multi-stage forces caused tectonic displacements along the ancient fractures and the present rift pattern was derived. As opposed to previous models, the present concept is compatible with many conflicting opinions of previous workers (e.g. indications of tensional versus compressional or vertical forces), and is capable of explaining many moot questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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