Skip to main content

Volcanology of the East African Rift

Thursday 28 January, 4 PM CET

Dr. Karen Fontijn


ABSTRACT: In its present-day configuration, some rift basins of the East African Rift System (EARS) are more clearly associated with magmatism than others. The Eastern Branch from northern Tanzania throughout Kenya and Ethiopia to the Afar Triple Junction, comprises a near-continuous magmatic rift segment with evidence of both on-axis and off-axis volcanism. The Western Branch, however, is marked by more discrete volcanic provinces largely concentrated in tectonic accommodation zones. Despite the dissimilarities in the rift-magmatic architecture between different rift segments, many parallels can be drawn on the rift volcanoes throughout the EARS, in terms of their magma composition and thus rheology, and in terms of their eruptive style. This talk will briefly review the main styles and products of rift volcanism that are most common across the present-day EARS with a particular focus on recent developments in our understanding of how rift volcanoes work.