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Aileen O'Catherine

Rio Grande Rift

By March 18, 2013

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I used to work with a geologist who would get excited whenever she talked about the Rio Grande rift. The more you know about this geologic feature, the more you understand my friend's excitement. Like the Great Rift in Africa, it is one of the few land rifts in the world. Most of these tectonic landforms are at the bottom of the ocean, miles beneath the sea.

It's hard to imagine the earth's crust beneath our feet here in Albuquerque pulling apart, but it is...at a rate of about 0.5 to 2 millimeters a year. While we may not feel that movement, it does mean we're living in one of the most geographically special places in the entire world.

Find out more about the Rio Grande rift.

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