Over the Edge: Landscapes or Seascapes?

Rift Valley from Escarpment - Copy

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Looking down on the small holder farms of Escarpment in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley

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And on Shropshire farm fields from Wenlock Edge

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It’s an interesting thought that in time the Great Rift Valley could become a seascape, for even now the earth’s crust is pulling apart along its 6,000 kilometre length.  The Horn of Africa, Somalia and the eastern half of Kenya would then become an island. Meanwhile these views of Shropshire show a landscape that was once covered in a shallow tropical sea. Also Wenlock Edge, on which I am standing to take this photograph, was once the bed of that sea before geological forces shunted it upwards. It makes you think, doesn’t it – the relentless forces of change?

And for the story that connects these vistas: First Post Revisited: By the Silurian Sea

For more about the Great Rift see an earlier post: Vulcanicity: welcome to the hot zone

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Landscapes or Seascapes

35 thoughts on “Over the Edge: Landscapes or Seascapes?

  1. Beautiful post, Tish. I love seascapes, but landscapes are mostly more interesting.
    You give us something to ponder about. Cley next the sea is far away from the sea today, indeed the landscape and the seascape change.

    1. That was exactly my thought, Gilly. Upland Kenya has quite a lot in common with the hilly parts of Shropshire. We don’t have lions of course, only escaped big cats from private collections!

  2. Fascinating post – particularly with predicted ocean rises with global warming. I picked up some brochures at a local environmental group last weekend. Many places in this are are predicted to be underwater by the end of the century (if not sooner) if things continue as they are.

    1. It’s volcanic, although there are earth tremors too. The earth’s crust is very thin along the fault. It’s where all the soda lakes are eg Turkana, Magadi, Natron. Also Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro lie beside it, and though inactive now, Mt Kenya is thought to have been an absolutely enormous volcano before it blew its top off. I’ve written a post about it back in the archive: https://tishfarrell.com/2014/06/03/vulcanicity-welcome-to-the-hot-zone/

      1. Probably not where I would choose to live, but the soil looks incredibly rich … so they will come and they will settle there. That’s what kept them in Pompeii and Herculaneum too.

  3. Tish, if you showed these photos to the inhabitants of those regions I think they will be shocked to know how much wondrous beauty they occupy. Myself am amazed. Till I wonder how it can be that I miss all this natural glory.

    1. That truly is an intriguing perspective, Peter: that we don’t see the beauty of what we have, perhaps because we cannot see the overview – for whatever reason; are too bound up in daily cares and struggles; simply do not have time to look. It is a luxury of course – all this being able to look at the bigger picture. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am, and in so many ways.

  4. Beautiful photos, Tish. Like others have mentioned, I, too, find landscapes to be more interesting to the eye. The longer one gazes, the more there is to see. The Rift Valley, and its inescapable future, fascinates me. That environment will change greatly, to be sure, but what impact will that have on the climate in the part of the world?

    1. I think the changes there, which are already happening are mostly to do with the ill effects of too much forest clearance – whether because of logging, or clearing land to cultivate. Forest reduction is already causing less rain to fall, and without deep-rooted tropical trees that open up underground streams and stop soil erosion, Kenya is becoming increasingly dry. Add to this the effects of global warming, and things look challenging in the tropics. Some systematic and rapid tree planting to help to reverse some of these effects. Not sure that the Kenyan government’s powerbrokers have their eyes on such matters.

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