What is happening at the East African Rift Valley?

What is happening at the East African Rift?

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 is happening to the African Rift Valley?

Large crack in East African Rift is evidence of continent splitting in two. A large crack, stretching several kilometers, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya. The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse and was accompanied by seismic activity in the area.

What is happening at the Rift Valley?

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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What caused the East 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 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 continent breaking apart?

Scientists say a new ocean is being born. New satellite measurements are offering valuable tools to study the tectonic rift in one of the most geologically unique spots on the planet.

Is the Great Rift Valley getting bigger?

Great Rift

(Read more about the social rifts felt in this region.) A rift valley refers to a lowland region where tectonic plates rift, or move apart. … The rifts are growing larger as two tectonic plates, the Somali plate in the east and the Nubian plate in the west, move away from each other.

What if African continent broke apart?

As the plates continue to pull away from each other, the rift valley will sink deeper and deeper, and water from the Red Sea will flood in to create a new ocean. Africa will become a lot smaller, as parts of southern Ethiopia and Somalia will drift off to form a new island.

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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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.

Why is Great Rift Valley important?

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 …

What is the longest rift on Earth’s surface?

The largest and deepest rift valley yet discovered is not on Earth—it’s on Mars. Valles Marineris was formed millions of years ago, when the rocky Martian lithosphere was still rifting and shifting. Valles Marineris reaches depths of up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) and spans about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) long.

How Africa is divided?

The African continent is commonly divided into five subregions: North or Northern Africa, West Africa, Central or Middle Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa.

How did the Great African Rift Valley form?

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.

Where is the East African Rift Valley 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.

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