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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Interaction between tectonic deformation and magmatism during volcanic rifting in Afar - Dormant

Currently Active: 

The breakup of continents is commonly associated with production of large volumes of molten basaltic rock that either intrude the lithosphere or are erupted at the surface.

Despite the importance of basaltic magmatism associated with continental breakup in sculpting the geological record observed at rifted continental margins, there remains no consensus on how magma is stored and transported in the crust prior to erupting at the surface, and how crustal extension is partitioned between magmatic intrusions and mechanical deformation.

November 2010 eruption of Erta Ale volcano in Afar
Figure 1


  • 2 years of passive seismic data from a network of 12 broadband seismic stations recording in Afar

Key Objective

  • To use earthquake and structural data to understand the mechanics of tectonic and magmatic deformation in the Afar region
3D picture of the Afar rift showing extensional processes in the tectonic plates
Figure 2

Key Contacts

Dr Derek Keir

Professor Jonathan Bull

Dr Tom Gernon

PhDs and Other Opportunities


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