DANAKIL DEPRESSION

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The Danakil Depression, also known as the Afar Depression or Afar Triangle in Ethiopia, is the northernmost portion of the tectonic depression created by the divergence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa.

The hottest and Adventureous placeof the earth with active volcano of years

The Danakil Depression has a complicated geological past and is located at the triple intersection of three tectonic plates. It has grown as a result of the separation of Africa and Asia, which has led to rifting and volcanic activity. This depression was created as a result of erosion, marine inundation, ground movement, and rising and declining water levels. Basalt, the product of extensive lava flows, is unevenly overlain by sedimentary rocks like sandstone and limestone.

A plain measuring 200 by 50 km, the Danakil Depression is located in Ethiopia’s Afar Region close to the Eritrean border. It is located around 125 meters below sea level and is surrounded to the east and west by the Danakil Alps and the Red Sea, respectively. The region is frequently referred to as the “cradle of humanity” because many fossils of prehistoric hominins have been discovered here, including the famous Australopithecus afarensis fossil Lucy, which has been dated to 3.2 million years old[6]. As a result, many paleontologists believe that this is where the human species first emerged.

In terms of average temperatures throughout the year, the Danakil Depression is the warmest region on Earth. At 100 meters below sea level, it is also among the planet’s lowest points, and most of the year is dry. The Awash River stops flowing here and never reaches the Indian Ocean, instead drying up in a series of salt lakes like Lake Afdera. At the southern extremity of the Danakil Depression, Mount Ayelu is the oldest and westerly of the two volcanoes. One of the crater lakes of lava flowing from the Earth’s mantle is the other active volcano, Erta Ale. The Dallol sulfur springs, often known as hot springs, are also nearby. To better understand how life can develop on other planets and moons, researchers are looking at these moist environments at the Danakil Depression. Extremophilic bacteria, many of which live here, are of great interest to astrobiologists. Despite this, researchers found no evidence of terrestrial life in the extremely hot, acidic, and salty circumstances seen in some areas of the Danakil Depression in October 2019. This includes extreme forms of archaea microbes.

The Dallol hydrothermal system and Yellow Lake are two geological attractions for travelers. In the Danakil Depression, a tiny hypersaline lake called Gaet’ale Pond sits above a tectonic hot spring (Afar, Ethiopia). The saltiest body of water on Earth is Gaet’ale Pond, which has a salinity of 43%. Residents of the Ahmed’ela village claim that the pond was built after the earthquake that reactivated the hot spring in January 2005.

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