Omo girl

I am studying the style and scaling of extension in the Ethiopian Rift and Ethiopian Highlands. Our newest results show some deformation outside of the structural rift valley, as well as deformation related to the load of the African monsoon.  Recent work also demonstrates that continents break apart in a complicated way, first breaking in a narrow zone and then stretching like taffy, before the onset of sea-floor spreading.


Birhanu, Y.*, R. Bendick, S. Fisseha, E. Lewi, M. Floyd, R. King, and R. Reilinger (2016) GPS constraints on broad scale extension in the Ethiopian Highlands and Main Ethiopian Rift, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1002/2016GL069890.

Birhanu, Y*. and R. Bendick (2015) Monsoonal loading in Ethiopia and Eritrea from vertical GPS displacement time series, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2015JB012072.

L. Kogan*, S. Fisseha, R. Bendick, R. Reilinger, S. McClusky, R. King, and T. Solomon (2012) Lithospheric strength and strain localization in continental extension from observations of the East African Rift, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, B03402, doi:10.1029/2011JB008516.

S. McClusky, R. Reilinger, G. Ogubazghi, A. Amleson, B. Healeb, P. Vernant, J. Sholan, S. Fisseha, L. Asfaw, R. Bendick, and L. Kogan (2010) Kinematics of the southern Red Sea-Afar triple junction and implications for plate dynamics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L05301, doi:10.1029/2009GL041127.

A. ArRajehi, S. McClusky, R. Reilinger, M. Daoud, A. Alchalbi, S. Ergintav, F. Gomez, J. Sholan, F. Bou-Rabee, G. Ogubazghi, B. Haileab, S. Fisseha, L. Asfaw, S. Mahmoud, A. Rayan, R. Bendick, and L. Kogan (2010) Geodetic constraints on present-day motion of the Arabian Plate: Implications for Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifting, Tectonics, 29, TC3011, doi:10.1029/2009TC002482.

Bendick, R., S. McClusky, R. Bilham, L. Asfaw, and S. Klemperer (2006) Distributed Nubia-Somalia relative motion and dike intrusion in the Main Ethiopian Rift. Geophys. J. Int. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.02904.x