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While this was going on, the velocity of the African plate slowed considerably.
The divergent movement of the European and African plates was relatively short-lived.
For example, a central plate, such as the African plate, may have the motions of adjacent plates referred to it.
Then the African plate tore away from North America.
The collision between the Eurasian and African plates made it progressively disappear.
It seems probable that the edge of the African plate turned under, its rocky components returning to the crust and perhaps even back into the mantle.
The system is the result of the uplift produced by the pressure of the northward-moving African Plate.
The crack forming is thought to be part of the process in which the Arabian Plate and African plates are moving apart.
The archipelago is therefore situated in the zone between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates.
When the African plate separated from North America, this created an aborted rift system or half gruben.