The Afar depression was formed at a triple junction, called the triple junction of Afar, that is the meeting point of three tectonic plates in continuous expansion, which formed the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and which in the triangle of Afar emerge to the surface.
The only other place where an ocean ridge can be studied on the surface is in Iceland. The Afar plain is slowly widening at a rate of 1–2 cm per year. The soil is mainly composed of basaltic lava. One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Erta Ale, is located in this area.
Below the surface there is a so-called gush of the earth's mantle, a large reserve of lava which rising to the surface gives rise to the formation of basalt rocks. The area is extremely rich in potassium which is also found on the surface.
Potassium is widely used by the fertilizer and explosives industry. It was first Italian mining companies that attempted its exploitation. Companies from the United States and then Canadian companies took over.
Desert of the Dancali: a colored hell on earth
Afar is known to be one of the most prolific areas of hominid fossil finds: Lucy, an almost complete skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis, was found in this area, as were the fossil remains of Homo bodoensis and Homo sapiens idaltu.
The Danakil desert, which is located in Danakil, in north-eastern Ethiopia, in southern Eritrea and largely in the state of Djibouti, is nicknamed Hell. This is the homeland of the Afar people. The formation of the Afar Depression, 100 m below sea level, also belongs to the Danakil desert.
The main activity that takes place in this place is the extraction of salt. The Desert is home to a wide range of animal species including the African wild ass. Erta Ale and Dabbahu volcanoes belong to this region. National Geographic magazine considers it the cruelest place on the face of the earth.
The Danakil is an area extremely rich in potassium which is also found on the surface. Potassium is widely used by the fertilizer and explosives industry. It was first Italian mining companies that attempted its exploitation. Companies from the United States and then Canadian companies took over.