Map of Afar region

Digitial elevation map of the Afar region showing the main structural divisions.

Geology of the Southern Afar Rift

The Southern Afar Rift is bound by the Somalian Escarpment in the south, the Ali-Sabieh Block in the east, the Tendaho–Gobaad Discontinuity in the north and the Main Ethiopian Rift to the west. In the west the faults trend north to northeast whilst to the east they are more east-west. The Southern Afar Rift system is about 250km long with an average crustal thickness of about 26km. Plio-Pleistocene flood basalts are cut by narrow NNE-SSW trending Quaternary basins. Between the basin flanks and the Escarpment, a distance of more than 50km, are essentially unfaulted Pliocene – Recent (3.3-0 million years ago) river and lake sediments and basalts.

For references used, please see technical version.