Abstract

The Ethiopian dome, comprising the Ethiopian and Yemeni Plateaus, formed as a result of the uplift of Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Ethiopian rift shoulders; the uplift was essentially due to a mantle-plume activity. A digital elevation model of this region before rifting, constructed by using the rotation of its constituent plates and pulling down the rift shoulders, reveals that important high areas existed before rifting. These highs are interpreted to be the result of mantle plume activity. A fast Fourier transform was used to smooth the digital elevation model prerift dome before a tomomorphometric analysis was applied to quantify the orientation of each digital elevation model horizontal slice. This procedure allowed us to determine a bearing of N30°E for absolute African plate motion since the Paleogene.

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