The African Superswell

Andrew Arnold Nyblade, Scott W. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

282 Scopus citations


Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-768
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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