How did the Great Rift Valley form in Africa?

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.

What is the cause of the rift valleys 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. … South of the Red Sea Rift lies the massive, complex East African Rift.

How the Rift Valley was formed?

Rift valley, any elongated trough formed by the subsidence of a segment of the Earth’s crust between dip-slip, or normal, faults. Such a fault is a fracture in the terrestrial surface in which the rock material on the upper side of the fault plane has been displaced downward relative to the rock below the fault.

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When did the Great Rift Valley form?

These rifts and faults were formed 35 million years ago.

Where is Africa’s Rift Valley?

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.

Why is it called 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.

How does the Great Rift Valley affect Africa?

This area is part of the Great Rift Valley, where Africa is slowly pushed and pulled apart by uprising material in earth’s mantle. Eventually, the rift will become deep enough to host a new ocean, separating Eastern Africa from the rest of the continent.

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)

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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Why Rift Valley is found between two block mountains?

A rift valley is a linear shaped lowland between several highlands or mountain ranges created by the action of a geologic rift. Rifts are formed as a result of the pulling apart of the lithosphere due to extensional tectonics. The linear depression may subsequently be further deepened by the forces of erosion.

What animals live in the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift Valley’s inhabitants include lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, zebras and primates.

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 old is the African Rift Valley?

Site of some of the oldest hominid fossils, The Great Rift Valley in East Africa refers to a massive land depression, formed approximately twenty million years ago when two parallel fault lines pulled apart.

Is the African continent splitting apart?

Scientists say a new ocean will form in Africa as the continent continues to split into two. … It is an active continental rift that began millions of years ago, splitting at 7mm annually.

What is the importance of Rift Valley?

The rift valleys are enormous fractures affecting the continental plates that widen progressively with time: they represent the first stages in the complex process of extension and rupture of continents and anticipate the development of new oceanic basins between them.

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