read your piece. Interesting!
I am a geologist familiar with Ethiopian Geology (actually working on it).
(1) The fact that there might be a continental breakup along the
Ethiopian Rift valley in the "near future" is not a new
discovery (it surely is a new media discovery) but a well-known
phenomenon (in the geological world), since around the beginning of the
(2)The formation of an ocean in the geological sense does not necessarly
imply filling of the continent by water. "Continental break
up" in the geological sense refers to the formation of oceanic
crust (the rocks that make up the ocean floors are different from those
that make up the continental crust). In this sense, Afar is already in
the stage of an ocean (It is an oceanic crust in the geological sense),
the only thing is that it is not covered by water. By the way, Dallol is
around 100 m below Sea level, which means, it is virtually an
ocean without water.
The "splitting" of the continent is not a rapid process but a
very slow phenomenon (actually the splitting rate is not more than 2 - 3
cm/yr). However, this rate may be abruptly changed with volcanic
and earthquake activities which may accelerate the splitting process. So
when there is a continental breakup, it is not as simple as you imagined
(like "Harrar wedia-mado" - "Addis wedih- mado") but
it may affect the whole region.
(4) Many Ethiopian researchers (Geologists from the Addis Ababa
University, Department of Geology and Geophysics) are leading members of
the research groups that include also "ferenjis". If you need
a detailed information on this subject, you may consult them. The e-mail
address of the Department is firstname.lastname@example.org
(or you may contact Dr. Gezahegn Yirgu, Associate Professor of
Volcanology and Igneous Petrology or Dr. Dereje Ayalew, Assistant
Professor of Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry, at the Department at
Arat Kilo Campus).
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One more thing (FYI):
The railway in French is "chemin-de-fer" (not chemendefeur).