Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
Research article
16 Jan 2017
Research article |  | 16 Jan 2017

The Kenya rift revisited: insights into lithospheric strength through data-driven 3-D gravity and thermal modelling

Judith Sippel, Christian Meeßen, Mauro Cacace, James Mechie, Stewart Fishwick, Christian Heine, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, and Manfred R. Strecker

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Cited articles

Achauer, U.: A Study of the Kenya Rift Using Delay-Time Tomography Analysis and Gravity Modeling, Tectonophysics, 209, 197–207,, 1992.
Achauer, U. and Masson, F.: Seismic tomography of continental rifts revisited: From relative to absolute heterogeneities, Tectonophysics, 358, 17–37,, 2002.
Adams, A., Nyblade, A., and Weeraratne, D.: Upper mantle shear wave velocity structure beneath the East African plateau: Evidence for a deep, plateauwide low velocity anomaly, Geophys. J. Int., 189, 123–142,, 2012.
Albaric, J., Deverchere, J., Petit, C., Perrot, J., and Le Gall, B.: Crustal rheology and depth distribution of earthquakes: Insights from the central and southern East African Rift System, Tectonophysics, 468, 28–41,, 2009.
Ali Kassim, M., Carmignani, L., Conti, P., and Fantozzi, P. L.: Geology of the Mesozoic-Tertiary sedimentary basins in southwestern Somalia, J. Afr. Earth Sci., 34, 3–20,, 2002.
Short summary
The Kenya Rift is a zone along which the African continental plate is stretched as evidenced by strong earthquake and volcanic activity. We want to understand the controlling factors of past and future tectonic deformation; hence, we assess the structural and strength configuration of the rift system at the present-day. Data-driven 3-D numerical models show how the inherited composition of the crust and a thermal anomaly in the deep mantle interact to form localised zones of tectonic weakness.