Best answer: What caused the African Rift Valley?

The East African Rift is one of the great tectonic features of Africa, caused by fracturing of the Earth’s crust. The Somalian plate—which is moving away in the other direction—lies to the other side and includes the Horn of Africa. …

What caused the Great Rift Valley in Africa?

Millions of years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was connected to Africa. Seafloor spreading caused the Arabian and African plates to rift apart. The Indian Ocean flooded the rift valley between the continents, creating the Red Sea. Today, Africa and Asia are connected by the triangle of the Sinai Peninsula.

How was the Rift Valley formed?

A rift valley is a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart, or rift. Rift valleys are found both on land and at the bottom of the ocean, where they are created by the process of seafloor spreading. … Tectonic plates are huge, rocky slabs of Earth’s lithosphere—its crust and upper mantle.

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How was the Great East African Rift Valley formed?

The East African Rift Valley, as the region is known, formed where the Somalian and Nubian plates are pulling away from the Arabian Plate. … The eastern branch formed around 25 to 30 million years ago, whereas the western branch formed only 10 to 15 million years ago — or at least that’s what scientists thought.

What boundary is the Great Rift Valley in Africa?

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 into two new separate plates.

What will happen to the Great Rift Valley in Africa eventually?

Eventually, it will rupture, leading to the formation of a rift valley. This process is accompanied by surface manifestations along the rift valley in the form of volcanism and seismic activity. Rifts are the initial stage of a continental break-up and, if successful, can lead to the formation of a new ocean basin.

Which is the longest rift valley in the world?

List

World Rift/Valley Length
Earth Great Rift Valley 6,000 km (3,700 mi)
Canadian Arctic Rift System 4,800 km (3,000 mi)
West Antarctic Rift System
Midcontinent Rift System 2,000 km (1,200 mi)

What will eventually happen if a Rift Valley continues to pull apart?

If these two rift zones continue they will break apart the crustal plates they are located on and will create new plates. Sea water will flood the rift valleys and they will eventually become seas like the Red Sea.

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What is a rift in the ocean?

In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics. … Major rifts occur along the central axis of most mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust and lithosphere is created along a divergent boundary between two tectonic plates.

Why do rift valleys have volcanoes?

Rift volcanoes form when magma rises into the gap between diverging plates. They thus occur at or near actual plate boundaries. … Earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions occur when the stretching exceeds the strength of the near-surface rocks, which then fracture along steeply dipping cracks parallel to the rift.

What is the African Rift Zone?

A narrow zone, the rift is a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary where the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two tectonic plates, called the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate, at a rate of 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in) per year.

What countries does the Great Rift Valley go through?

The Rift Valley consists of a group of independent interior basins, extending from Djibouti in the north to Tanzania in the south, nearly half being located in Ethiopia.

Name of basin Total area of basin Area in the country
Uganda 4 514
Kenya 102 452
Southern lakes: 178 800
Kenya 25 000

How fast is the East African Rift moving?

The Arabian plate is moving away from Africa at a rate of about 1 inch per year, while the two African plates are separating even slower, between half an inch to 0.2 inches per year, according to Macdonald.

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Across the Sahara