Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have been awarded $873,880 by the National Science Foundation to study how continental rifts create ocean basins.
For the next four years, the Missouri S&T researchers will try to understand how narrow continental rifts separated to create basins like the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. Current rift valleys are found in Africa and in the southwestern U.S. The U.S. rift is located along the Rio Grande river.
"If the current trend continues for millions of years, there will be an ocean separating western and eastern Colorado, western and eastern New Mexico, and western Texas and northern Mexico," says Dr. Stephen Gao, professor of geophysics at Missouri S&T.