Great Dyke, Zimbabwe
April 21, 2004
The Great Dyke in the southern Zimbabwe Craton is one of the most remarkable rock formations in the world. A craton is a term geologists use to describe Earth's oldest continental regions. These thick and very hard layers of rock are more than 2 billion years old, and form the cores of most of Earth's continents. Over the millennia, the cratons comprising Earth's landscapes were transported, twisted, folded, eroded, and split by the tremendous geological forces continually reshaping our world's land surfaces. Zimbabwe's Great Dyke, running vertically through the center of this scene, probably formed slowly, over centuries, as molten rock forced its way up from the Earth's interior through the Zimbabwe Craton. The dyke stretches about 530 km across the craton and varies from between 3 and 12 km wide long its length. The dyke is extremely rich in platinum and chromium deposits that support the Zimbabwe economy.
Topics: Environment, Cratons, Historical geology, Economic geology, Zimbabwe, Trans-Hudson orogeny, Kalahari craton, Zimbabwe craton, Great Dyke