one of the main tectonically mobile structural elements of the earth’s crust, corresponding to the axial parts of the mid-ocean ridges and depressions of the type of the Red Sea and the gulfs of Aden and California. In its dimensions and in the significance of the processes of the formation of the earth’s crust occurring in it, the georiftogene is comparable with the geosyncline, although it is not analogous to it. On the continents possible analogues to the georiftogene are the East African fault zone and the Baikal rift system. Typical features of the georiftogene are rift-ridge relief, faults, linear manifestations of basic-composition volcanism, intrusions of ultrabasic composition, the serpentinization of these intrusions and regional greenstone meta-morphism, the great significance of the heat flow from the depths, and high seismic activity.

Within the boundaries of the georiftogene the earth’s crust is, on the whole, not thick. The thickness of the layer of sedimentary rock is negligible (up to several dozen meters), although it increases—as does the age of the rocks—with increasing distance from the axis of the georiftogene. The earth’s crust also has a mosaic-block structure.

The term georiftogene was proposed in 1965 by the Soviet oceanographer G. B. Udintsev.


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