Geology on the Quick

24 Jan 2011

At http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/23/red-sea-about-to-flood-into-africa-as-continent-shatters/ ... the blog of Pierre Gosselin has picked up on a story from the major German daily, Der Spiegel - on a story in which the reporter may have got so used to climate alarmism he thinks geological events take place in weeks rather than millions of years. Certainly, the world is about to witness a major geological event - but is it going to happen in the lifetime of any human around today? Basically, as reported on In the News earlier in the year, the Rift Valley system which runs from the Jordan Valley down the Red Sea and into Kenya and Uganda, crosses that part of Ethiopia known as the Danakil Depression. When eventually the Rift is ruptured the Horn of Africa will become an offshore island. The same thing can be said of Scotland north of the Great Fault (in tourist terminology Loch Ness and the Moray Firth) which when ruptured will create an island of the far north, and no doubt there are many other places around the world where geology is on the brink of island creation - but a triggering mechanism is required for that to happen. In the case of Ethiopia it is being suggested by Der Spiegel and wherever the source of the story came from, that this is actually about to happen - and the Red Sea is about to flood the Danakil Depression. However, one problem, there is a range of hills separating Danakil from the Red Sea - and they have to be breached. A volcano that is erupting to the south of those hills is what is causing the excitement, and evidence of tectonic activity that is widespread not just on the African side of the Red Sea but on the Arabian side too. A geologist is quoted by the German newspaper reporter as saying, 'the hills could sink within days' - really stirring stuff, the kind of exagerated hype we have all become used to when it comes to health and climate science. Not content with pushing the AGW agenda Der Spiegel is now promoting geological mayhem, but a voice of reason comes from David Ferguson of Oxford University. He comments that tectonic activity in the region is far from over and is liable to go on for another decade at least, possibly even becoming greater in magnitude. The process actually began as long ago as 2005 but nobody was taking much notice - it is happening in an isolated region of the world with a major political problem in Somalia. The Ethiopians of the Highland zone may actually welcome the prospect of losing their border in the south - although the Danakil is sparsely populated and acts as a buffer. Ferguson is quite certain the process is going to take millions of years - but we shall see (go to www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,405947,00.html ).