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The Afar region is the subject of recent activity of the International Upper Mantle Project because of its position at the triple junction of the East African rift, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Extended aerial and ground surveys in the past 3 years revealed tectonic deformation strongly influenced by plate tectonics. Single blocks at the eastern edge of Africa seem to undergo northeastward-directed drifting motions, following the east- or northeastward-drifting Arabian Peninsula. Analysis of Apollo 9 space photographs supplemented the existing ground and aerial surveys and extended the investigations to the region north of the Gulf of Tadjura. Evidence suggests that this region is a block with drifting motion similar to that of the Arabian Peninsula. There are both dvantages and disadvantages to using space photographs for geologic exploration.
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