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The GREAT RIFT VALLEY is a name given to the continuous geographic trench, approximately 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) in length, that runs from Lebanon\'s Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
in Asia
Asia
to Mozambique
Mozambique
in South Eastern Africa. The name continues in some usages, although it is today considered geologically imprecise as it combines features that are today regarded as separate, although related, rift and fault systems.

Today, the term is most often used to refer to the valley of the East African Rift
Rift
, the divergent plate boundary which extends from the Afar Triple Junction southward across eastern Africa
Africa
, and is in the process of splitting the African Plate
African Plate
into two new separate plates. Geologists generally refer to these incipient plates as the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate .

CONTENTS

* 1 Theoretical extent * 2 Asia
Asia
* 3 Africa
Africa
* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links

THEORETICAL EXTENT

Satellite image of a graben in the Afar Depression Diagram of a rift valley's future evolution into a sea Map of the Great Rift
Rift
Valley

The Great Rift
Rift
Valley as originally described was thought to extend from Lebanon
Lebanon
in the north to Mozambique
Mozambique
in the south, where it constitutes one of two distinct physiographic provinces of the East African mountains . It included what we would call today the Lebanese section of the Dead Sea
Sea
Transform , the Jordan
Jordan
Rift
Rift
Valley , Red Sea Rift
Rift
and the East African Rift
Rift
.

Today these rifts and faults are seen as distinct, although connected. These were only formed 35 million years ago.

ASIA

Further information: Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
at center and the Dead Sea
Sea
and Jordan
Jordan
Valley above

The northernmost part of the Rift
Rift
corresponds to the central section of what is called today the Dead Sea
Sea
Transform (DST) or Rift. This midsection of the DST forms the Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
in Lebanon, separating the Lebanon
Lebanon
from the Anti- Lebanon
Lebanon
Mountains . Further south it is known as the Hula Valley separating the Galilee
Galilee
mountains and the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
.

The River Jordan begins here and flows southward through Lake Hula into the Sea
Sea
of Galilee
Galilee
in Israel
Israel
. The Rift
Rift
then continues south through the Jordan
Jordan
Rift
Rift
Valley into the Dead Sea
Sea
on the Israeli -Jordanian border. From the Dead Sea
Sea
southwards, the Rift
Rift
is occupied by the Wadi Arabah
Arabah
, then the Gulf of Aqaba , and then the Red Sea
Sea
.

Off the southern tip of Sinai in the Red Sea, the Dead Sea
Sea
Transform meets the Red Sea
Sea
Rift
Rift
which runs the length of the Red Sea. The Red Sea
Sea
Rift
Rift
comes ashore to meet the East African Rift
Rift
and the Aden Ridge in the Afar Depression of East Africa. The junction of these three rifts is called the Afar Triple Junction .

AFRICA

Main article: East African Rift
Rift
East African Rift
Rift
Valley A map of East Africa
Africa
showing some of the historically active volcanoes (red triangles) and the Afar Triangle (shaded, center)—a triple junction where three plates are pulling away from one another: the Arabian Plate
Arabian Plate
, and the two parts of the African Plate
African Plate
(the Nubian and the Somali) splitting along the East African Rift
Rift
Zone ( USGS
USGS
).

The East African rift has two branches, the Western Rift
Rift
Valley and the Eastern Rift
Rift
Valley .

The Western Rift, also called the Albertine Rift
Rift
, is bordered by some of the highest mountains in Africa, including the Virunga Mountains , Mitumba Mountains , and Ruwenzori Range . It contains the Rift
Rift
Valley lakes , which include some of the deepest lakes in the world (up to 1,470 metres (4,820 ft) deep at Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
).

Much of this area lies within the boundaries of national parks such as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo , Rwenzori National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda
Uganda
, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Rwanda
. Lake Victoria is considered to be part of the rift valley system although it actually lies between the two branches. All of the African Great Lakes were formed as the result of the rift, and most lie within its rift valley.

In Kenya
Kenya
, the valley is deepest to the north of Nairobi
Nairobi
. As the lakes in the Eastern Rift
Rift
have no outlet to the sea and tend to be shallow, they have a high mineral content as the evaporation of water leaves the salts behind. For example, Lake Magadi has high concentrations of soda (sodium carbonate ) and Lake Elmenteita , Lake Bogoria , and Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru
are all strongly alkaline , while the freshwater springs supplying Lake Naivasha are essential to support its current biological variety.

The southern section of the Rift
Rift
Valley includes Lake Malawi , the third deepest freshwater body in the world, reaching 706 m in depth and separating the Nyassa plateau of Northern Mozambique
Mozambique
from Malawi; it ends in the Zambesi
Zambesi
valley.

SEE ALSO

* _The Great Rift: Africa\'s Wild Heart _, a BBC
BBC
/Animal Planet production

* Main earthquakes

* 1837 Galilee
Galilee
earthquake * 2005 Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
earthquake * 2008 Lake Kivu earthquake

REFERENCES

* ^ Merriam-Webster, Inc 편집부 (1997). _MERRIAM WEBSTER\'S GEOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY 3/E(H)_. Merriam-Webster. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-87779-546-9 . Retrieved 22 November 2012. * ^ Philip Briggs; Brian Blatt (15 July 2009). _Ethiopia: the Bradt travel guide_. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 450. ISBN 978-1-84162-284-2 . Retrieved 22 November 2012. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ G. Yirgu; C. J. (Cindy J.) Ebinger; P. K. H. Maguire (2006). _The Afar Volcanic Province Within the East African Rift
Rift
System: Special
Special
Publication No 259_. Geological Society. pp. 306–307. ISBN 978-1-86239-196-3 . Retrieved 22 November 2012.

FURTHER READING

* _Africa's Great Rift
Rift
Valley_, 2001, ISBN 0-8109-0602-3 * _Tribes of the Great Rift
Rift
Valley_, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8109-9411-9 * _East African Rift
Rift
Valley lakes_, 2006, OCLC
OCLC
76876862 * _Photographic atlas of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Rift
Rift
Valley_, 1977, ISBN 0-387-90247-3 * _ Rift
Rift
Valley fever : an emerging human and animal problem_, 1982, ISBN 92-4-170063-7 * _ Rift
Rift
valley: definition and geologic significance_, Giacomo Corti (National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Geosciences and Earth
Earth
Resources) – The Ethiopian Rift
Rift
Valley, 2013,

EXTERNAL

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