Best answer: 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.

What caused the African Rift Valley?

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 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.

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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.

When was Great Rift Valley formed?

These rifts and faults were formed 35 million years ago.

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.

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.

Does the Great Rift Valley have volcanoes?

Researchers are to assess largely uncharted volcanoes in the East African Rift Valley, home to vast mammal migrations, mountain gorillas, spectacular peaks and fertile plains. The region’s volcanoes, numbering more than 100, are shrouded in mystery. … Prior to its eruption, the volcano was believed to be dormant.

How old is the African Rift Valley?

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.

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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.

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)

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.

What countries does the Great Rift Valley extend 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

How did the Red Sea Rift form?

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. Magnetic anomalies suggest that the spreading rate on either side of the Red Sea is about 1 cm/year.

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Why is the Great Rift Valley the most distinguishing feature of the African continent?

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 the Great Rift Valley in Africa is a good example of divergent convergence?

Great Rift Valley (The Best Example of a Divergent Boundary) … In a southwest direction, the fault continues as the Great Rift Valley, which split the older Ethiopian highlands into two halves. In eastern Africa, the valley divides into the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift.

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