Stories tagged Red Sea

Several times while conducting geology/geography demonstrations at the Dead Scrolls exhibit here at the Science Museum of Minnesota, I've had visitors ask questions about where the Israelite Exodus crossed the Red Sea. Scientific study hasn't pinpointed that, but here's a story on research being conducted on how a unique wind effect could have played a role in the famous Bible story of the parting of the waters of the Red Sea.

Oct
01
2007

Jabal al-Tair: Before eruptionCourtesy NASA.
Jabal al-Tair: Before eruption
Courtesy NASA.
Jabal at-Tair, a small island formed entirely by a volcano was thought to be dormant until yesterday. But following several days of small earthquakes it erupted last night, September 30th at 7pm spewing lava and ash into the air at great heights.

Sadly it appears that several soldiers based on the island have died in the eruption although the number of people hurt is not immediately clear.

Why are there volcanoes in the Red Sea?

The volcanism that created the island is the result of two continental plates, Africa and Arabia, rifting apart from each other with the Arabian Plate (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and more) moving away to the northeast. While this rifting is pretty old, beginning about 540 million years ago, the Red Sea only started to form about 55 million years ago. The Red Sea is widening at a rate of about .6 inches a year which accounts for the volcanic activity that we see there now.

More on the Red Sea's geologic history.