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.

When did the African rift valley form?

“We now believe that the western portion of the rift formed about 25 million years ago, and is approximately as old as the eastern part, instead of much younger as other studies have maintained,” said Michael Gottfried, a geologist at Michigan State University who co-authored the study.

How was the African rift valley formed?

Geologists know that the Rift Valley was formed by violent subterranean forces that tore apart the earth’s crust. These forces caused huge chunks of the crust to sink between parallel fault lines and force up molten rock in volcanic eruptions.

When was the Ethiopian rift valley formed?

Rift initiation was asynchronous along the Ethiopian rift valley: deformation began around 18 million years ago at the south end, around 11 million years ago close to the Afar depression and probably around 6-8 million years ago in the central sector.

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Where does rift valley start and end?

Come and visit the Great Rift Valley.

The Rift Valley starts all the way from Jordan, Middle-East, and runs through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, Malawi, and ends near the coastal town of Solada in Mozambique.

How long is the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift Valley runs north to south for 5000 km, varies in width from 30-100 km, and is between several hundred to several thousand metres deep at any given point.

Which is the longest rift valley in the world?


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)

Who Discovered the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift was discovered almost hundred years ago by an intrepid geologist. John “Jack” Walter Gregory was born in London in 1864. His interest in the natural world and adventures emerged in his early years of study.

How old is the African plate?

Between 60 million years ago and 10 million years ago, the Somali Plate began rifting from the African Plate along the East African Rift.

African Plate
Approximate area 61,300,000 km2 (23,700,000 sq mi)
Features Africa, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea

What is the rift valley known for?

The most well-known rift valley on Earth is probably the so-called “Great Rift Valley System” which stretches from the Middle East in the north to Mozambique in the south. The area is geologically active, and features volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and frequent earthquakes.

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Where is the Rift Valley located in Africa?

The Rift Valley, located in Eastern Africa, covers just over 2% of the continent and spreads over seven countries (Map 5 and Table 29). min. max. 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.

Why are Ethiopians called water towers?

Ethiopia is called the water tower of Africa due to its combination of mountainous areas with a comparatively large share of water resources in Africa. Only a fraction of this potential has been harnessed so far, 1% at the beginning of the 21st century.

How many lakes are in Rift Valley?

Kenya’s eastern Rift Valley has a string of eight lakes. These lakes provide diverse habitats ranging from the freshwater lakes of Naivasha and Baringo to the semi-saline Lake Turkana, the saline alkaline lakes of Magadi, Elmentaita, Nakuru and Bogoria and the transient Lake Logipi.

How many plateaus are there in Kenya?


Elevations run mainly between 300 and 900 meters (1,000 and 3,000 feet) except for the Chyulu Range and the Taita Hills, both of which rise to over 2,134 meters (7,000 feet).

How deep is the Rift Valley in Kenya?

Lake Turkana, at the northern end of the rift, is 250 kilometres (160 mi) long, between 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) and 30 kilometres (19 mi) wide and is 125 metres (410 ft) at its greatest depth.


UNESCO World Heritage Site
Inscription 1997 (21st Session)
Extensions 2001
Location of Great Rift Valley, Kenya in Kenya
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How many valleys are in Africa?

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