CRAFTI: Continental Rifing in Africa: Fluid-Tectonic Interaction

Funded by: NSF and INSU

In January, 2013, a team of researchers from Rochester, RPI, Montpellier (France), Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, University of Dar-es-Salaam, and University of Nairobi deployed 39 seismometers in the Manyara, Natron, and Magadi basins of the Eastern Rift, Africa. Collaborators Tobias Fischer (U New Mexico), Simon Kattenhorn (Conoco-Phillips), and graduate students Hyunwoo Lee and James Muirhead, respectively, are key contributors to this project. Christel Tiberi (Montpellier II) leads a talented and creative French team.

Our project aims to quantify the flux of magma and volatiles from Earth’s mantle to the surface and atmosphere, respectively, during early stage rifting. Exciting intrerim results show lower crustal seismicity in zones of active magma intrusion, and suggest that multiple volcanoes have active magma chambers. Undergraduate researchers Catherine Lambert ’14, Eli Witkin ’13, Michael Aman ’15, Avery Palardy ’15, and current students Shelby Corning, Sasha Weinstein, Ulrik Soderstrom, Katherine Peterson have made major contributions to field and lab studies.

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