Faults cut across the East African Rift zone, where the slow motion of the Nubian and Somalian plates of Earth’s crust pulls the continent apart. Scientists have found that faults in this zone contribute significant amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. To give a sense of scale, the vegetated (green) valley floor at the lower right is 17 kilometers long. Credit: ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown source of carbon dioxide leaking into the atmosphere. The gas emerges from faults where the slow separation of plates of the planet’s continental crust is cracking and deforming the Earth.
Faults in the East African Rift zone release about 71 megatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into…
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