What is rifting like that seen in Eastern Africa?

Rifts exhibit a very distinctive topography, characterized by a series of fault-bounded depressions surrounded by higher terrain. In the East African system, a series of aligned rift valleys separated from each other by large bounding faults can be clearly seen from space.

Why is the East African rift rifting?

Crustal extension has formed a series of elongate lowland valleys bound by steeply dipping normal faults, separated by regions of comparatively high land. The Nubian and Somalian plates are also separating from the Arabian plate in the north, thus creating a ‘Y’ shaped rifting system.

How did 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. …

Where is the East Africa rift?

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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How was the Great African Rift 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.

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.

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.

Which plates are a involved the East African Rift Valley?

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.

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 many volcanoes are in the East African Rift Valley?

More than 100 young volcanoes – that have had activity within about 10,000 years – dot the landscape of the East African Rift – an area that runs for more than 3000 kilometres from Djibouti and Eritrea, down through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

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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.

Is Africa moving towards Europe?

For millions of years the African plate, which contains part of the Mediterranean seabed, has been moving northward toward the Eurasian Plate at a rate of about an inch every 2.5 years (a centimeter a year).

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

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 …

Why are volcanoes such a common feature of the African rift?

Rift volcanoes in continental locations such as the East African Rift System are more complex. … Assimilation of continental crust apparently gives them some of the characteristics more generally associated with subduction volcanoes, such as having a wider range of rock types and explosive habits.

How deep is the Great Rift Valley?

The Rift Valley varies mostly between 2000 and 3000 feet (600 to 900 meters) in depth, with a maximum of 8860 feet (2700 meters) at the Gikuyu and Mau escarpments.

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