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The Great Rift
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 Southeastern Africa.[1] 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, the divergent plate boundary which extends from the Afar Triple Junction southward across eastern 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 3 Africa 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Theoretical extent[edit]

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.[2] Today these rifts and faults are seen as distinct, although connected. These were only formed 35 million years ago. Asia[edit] Further information: 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
Hula Valley
separating the Galilee
Galilee
mountains and the Golan Heights.[3] The River Jordan
River Jordan
begins here and flows southward through Lake Hula into the Sea
Sea
of Galilee
Galilee
in 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, then the Gulf of Aqaba, and then the Red Sea.[3] 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
Afar Depression
of East Africa. The junction of these three rifts is called the Afar Triple Junction.[3] Africa[edit] Main article: East African 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
Afar Triangle
(shaded, center)—a triple junction where three plates are pulling away from one another: the 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).

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, 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). Much of this area lies within the boundaries of national parks such as Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwenzori National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park
in Rwanda. Lake Victoria
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
African Great Lakes
were formed as the result of the rift, and most lie within its rift valley. In Kenya, the valley is deepest to the north of 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
Lake Magadi
has high concentrations of soda (sodium carbonate) and Lake Elmenteita, Lake Bogoria, and Lake Nakuru are all strongly alkaline, while the freshwater springs supplying Lake Naivasha
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 metres (2,316 ft) in depth and separating the Nyassa plateau of Northern Mozambique
Mozambique
from Malawi; it ends in the Zambezi
Zambezi
valley. See also[edit]

The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart, a BBC/ Animal Planet
Animal Planet
production Main earthquakes

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

References[edit]

^ 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[edit]

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 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, [1] Big crack is evidence that East Africa
Africa
could be splitting in two, by Lucia Perez Diaz, CNN. Updated April 5, 2018

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Rift
Rift
Valley.

Article on geology.com Geological Structure  "Great Rift
Rift
Valley". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

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