Final Desiccation of the Afar Rift, Ethiopia

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Science  30 Apr 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3982, pp. 468-469
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3982.468


Stable and radioactive isotope studies of ancient corals and mollusks from a fossil atoll in the Afar Rift indicate that final separation of the Afar Depression from the Red Sea occurred not earlier than 32,000 years ago. Desiccation followed within a few thousand years. The events recorded in the Afar Rift illustrate the processes occurring in the incipient stages leading to the formation of an oceanic body by rifting of a continental block.

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