Understanding Strain Accumulation in the East African Rift Using InSAR and Modelling
Mace, MJT; Biggs, J
University of Bristol, UNITED KINGDOM
The fundamental processes by which continental rifts form and develop are poorly understood, but crucial to a complete understanding of plate tectonics. East African Rift is an active continental rift, meaning that the physical processes can be observed before they are overprinted by later tectonic phases. We use the large archive of Wide-Swath data collected by ESA's Envisat satellite to produce interferograms of the Main Ethiopian Rift. Visual inspection and quantitative methods are used to identify surface deformations and rates associated with the 6-7mm/year of strain accumulation across the rift. Displacement profiles will be used to determine whether strain is distributed across zones, or focussed on single structures, and whether these structures are associated with magmatism or faulting. The data will be compared to models of various fault types and analytical solutions, using realistic geophysical constraints to address the non-uniqueness of results.