How old is the East African Rift?

The rift has been forming for some 30 million years (as Africa and the Arabian Peninsula separated) and has been accompanied by extensive volcanism along parts of its length, producing such massifs as Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

When was the East African Rift Valley formed?

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 is causing the East African Rift?

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.

How was the East African valley formed?

The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is an active continental rift zone in East Africa. The EAR began developing around the onset of the Miocene, 22–25 million years ago. In the past it was considered to be part of a larger Great Rift Valley that extended north to Asia Minor.

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How was the Great African Rift Valley formed?

Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a 6,000-mile crack (fissure) in the earth’s crust, stretching from Lebanon to Mozambique. … Geologists know that the Rift Valley was formed by violent subterranean forces that tore apart the earth’s crust.

How deep is the East African Rift Valley?

Valles Marineris reaches depths of up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) and spans about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) long. That’s about 20% of the diameter of Mars itself! With so much volcanic and tectonic activity going on there, the East African Rift Valley is a potent power source.

How fast is Africa splitting apart?

The three plates are separating at different speeds. 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.

What is the East African Rift an example of?

The East African Rift Valley (EAR) is a developing divergent plate boundary in East Africa. Here the eastern portion of Africa, the Somalian plate, is pulling away from the rest of the continent, that comprises the Nubian plate.

Is Africa breaking apart?

It is an active continental rift that began millions of years ago, splitting at 7mm annually. The regular eruption of volcanoes along the rift and new insights into the break up of continents adds to the belief that the continent may be splitting to form a new ocean.

What will happen if the East African rift continues?

If these motions continue, plate models (mentioned below) suggest that Africa would rotate clockwise and eventually crash into Europe in 50 Ma in the future. The rift is growing at a rate of one inch per year through the upwelling of magma underneath the continental crust (see Fig.

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Which is the longest rift valley in the world?

The Great Rift Valley is a series of contiguous geographic trenches, approximately 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) in total length, that runs from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon which is in Asia to Mozambique in Southeast Africa.

Where is the East African Rift located?

East African Rift System, also called Afro-Arabian Rift Valley, one of the most extensive rifts on Earth’s surface, extending from Jordan in southwestern Asia southward through eastern Africa to Mozambique. The system is some 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long and averages 30–40 miles (48–64 km) wide.

What African countries does the Great Rift Valley pass 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
Sudan 16 441
Uganda 4 514
Kenya 102 452
Southern lakes: 178 800

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.

Why is the Rift Valley important to Africa?

The system of rift valleys that characterizes the African continent represents a perfect environment to understand the evolution of mankind; for the important paleoanthropological discoveries in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire, the African rift valleys are indeed considered the “cradle of mankind”, that is …

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How did the Red Sea Rift form?

The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. … The Red Sea Rift was formed by the divergence between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. The rift transitioned from a continental rift to an oceanic rift.

Across the Sahara