We report the first results of the multi-stage, inter-disciplinary TRAILS project in the unusually wide Turkana depression of Kenya and S Ethiopia.
The magma-rich Eastern rift, E. Africa formed near the eastern edge of the Archaean Tanzania craton in northeastern Tanzania, which has been affected by a deep-seated mantle upwelling, and provides an example of active rifting in a region with large lateral heterogeneities of lithospheric structure. Patterns of active faulting and magmatism in the East African rift indicate that lateral heterogeneities in crust and mantle structure influence the distribution of earthquakes, rift basins and volcanoes. Our results indicate that active faulting, magmatism, and lithospheric thinning occurs across a narrow part of the rift, and that the largest and most frequent earthquakes are concentrated at kinks or bends in the rift. Tomographic imaging indicates that the source of magma is located east of the rift, suggesting that the rift.
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