Fast and Furious: Witnessing the birth of Africa's new ocean

Afar Rift Consortium at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

The Afar Rift Consortium was chosen to present a stand on our work at this year's 350th Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. We were one of only 26 groups from a field of 160 to be selected. The exhibition ran from Friday 25th June to Sunday 4th July at the Southbank Centre.

Click here for our full press release.

Photographs (click for hi-res versions)

Rocks, rifts and volcanoes...

2005 volcanic fissure Cracks in the ground in the centre of the rift Badi volcano Erupting volcano

The team at work...

Derek Keir (Leeds) checking the seismic equipment Checking MT data in the shade Taking notes in the field Dave Ferguson (Oxford) in the lab

These photos may be reproduced free of charge provided the photographer is credited. Details of photographer can be found by clicking on each image and scrolling down.

Videos and movies

Our exhibit included movies of the 3D structure of the Afar rift and on how the movement of the tectonic plates has shaped eastern Africa in the past and continue to do so 50 million years into the future. We also had a series of short videos showing a day in the life of a volcanologist, geodesist, seismologist and geophysicist. The files for all of our movies and videos can be found by clicking this link


Here are two of the A day in the life of ... videos.

A day in the life of a seismologist

A day in the life of a volcanologist

A day in the life of a geophysicist

A day in the life of a geodesist

Links and Contacts

Our Royal Society blog


Tim Wright on Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 25th June. Tim's section is about 2.50 in.

For more details contact Hannah Isom at the University of Leeds Press Office at

Fast and Furious was brought to you by the Afar Rift Consortium, a project funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The consortium contains scientists from the Universities of Leeds, Bristol, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Cambridge, and the British Geological Survey, with partners in Ethiopia, France and the US.

We are grateful to the following for financial or in kind contributions: NERC, the Universities of Leeds, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, the British Geological Survey, University of Rochester, National Centre for Earth Observation, US National Science Foundation, Seis-UK, Geological Soc., Royal Astron. Soc., British Geophysical Assoc., Mineralogical Soc., Volcanic & Magmatic Studies Group, Curry Fund of the Geologists’ Assoc., Getech Ltd.

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