Great Rift Valley Facts: Learn More About This Scenic Location | Kidadl


Great Rift Valley Facts: Learn More About This Scenic Location

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Eastern Africa is well known for its fossil discoveries from millions of years ago.

It includes the Jordan and Dead Seas, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. The Rift formed 30 million years ago when the Arabian peninsula moved away from Africa.

The Great Rift Valley is a system of long valleys, generally running south-east to north-west, which is part of the tectonic plate boundary between the African (or Nubian) Plate and the Arabian Plate. The Rift is an area with many earthquakes because it's pulling apart two plates. The fault line has many cracks, and each crack is called a fault. Because of the faults, some volcanoes can erupt at any time. The Great Rift Valley has many national parks, such as Virunga National Park.

Also found here are Lake Nyasa, the Shire River, and the highest mountains, such as Mount Kilimanjaro. The Shire River is one of the rivers found in Lake Malawi. The Dead Sea is indeed a feature of the Great Rift Valley. The Jordan Rift Region is located in the northern platforms. The Jordan River Delta spans through the border area of Israel along with Lebanon and Syria, near the Golan Heights, until the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

Area Of Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is a geographical term used to identify the continuous geographic long trench, about 3,700 mi (6,000 km) long in the earth's surface area.

This rift valley with freshwater lakes runs from Lebanon's southern border with Syria and Israel to Mozambique and South Africa. The name of this valley comes from its location on the African continent: it edges the African Plate like a scar. The idea of naming his geological feature emerged during an expedition by the British geologist John Walter Gregory in 1864.

Gregory was studying a rock formation in East Africa when he noticed that some of the exposed strata looked as if they had been pulled apart (like taffy), while others appeared to have been pushed together. He concluded that the African continent must once have been fractured and pushed apart over time by great forces.

The Great Rift Valley is also called the East African Rift System, and it covers an area of about 2,400 km long and 160 wide, extending from northern Syria to central Mozambique. The valley separates the Arabian plate from the African plate. The valley floor is cut with lakes and rivers fed by rainfall and many springs; there are also volcanic mountains across central Kenya.

Lakes In Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley, located in East Africa, contains some of the world's most beautiful lakes. The best-known of these is Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa and one of the world's great lakes.

The Great Rift Valley has several lakes, the most well-known of which are Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa), Lake Albert, and Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf). Lake Tanganyika, which straddles Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi, also has a fascinating record of endemic species, including fish, cichlids, mollusks, and snails. Lake Tanganyika is a large and one of the deepest lakes in the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa. It is 12,700 sq mi (32,893 sq km) and has an elevation of 2,536 ft (773 m).

It is the world's second-deepest freshwater lake, following Lake Baikal. Lake Malawi, or 'Nyasa' in Malawi, is another large lake that has been formed by rifting processes along this part of the eastern boundary of Afar. In Kenya lies Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf. In Ethiopia, there are two rift valley lakes: Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and Lake Abbe. The other Rift Valley lakes in Ethiopia are Lakes Shala, Zway, and Hayk or Mariam.

The Great Rift Valley has several lakes

Mountain Ranges In Great Rift Valley

The mountains in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa include the Rwenzori Mountains in Kenya and Tanzania, Mount Cameroon, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Great Rift Valley is a system of valleys and lowlands that stretch from the Dead Sea in the Middle East to Mozambique in South-East Africa. It includes the Jordan, Palestine, and Sinai Peninsulas; the Central Red Sea Mountains; the Eastern Great Rift Valley; the Omo-Turkana Basin; the western Great Rift Valley; the eastern African Rift; the Lake Baikal Rift Valley; and the Tongariro-Kaukau Geothermal Field.

The volcanic eruptions and remarkable accumulation of centers are seen in the volcanic mountains of Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elgon, Mount Kenya, Mount Nyiragongo, and Mount Karisimbi, including the highlands of the Tanzanian Rift. Another Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano continues to erupt and is the world's oldest volcano with natrocarbonatite. The western Rift also has the highest mountains, such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Margherita.

Climate Of Great Rift Valley

The climate of the Great Rift Valley varies by altitude. The highlands, including Ethiopia's high plateau and Kenya's Mau Escarpment, are dry with frosty nights in some areas but pleasant during the day (although rain is more likely on higher ground).

On the Great Rift Valley floor, it can be very hot when the sun is high in the sky, but it can be quite pleasant during the early morning and late evening hours. However, at a lower altitude, particularly in areas below sea level such as Khartoum and Lake Nasser, deserts merge into savannah grasslands; both Sudanese and Kenyan sugar cane fields may border vast deserts. The earth's surface area is rocky in the wildlife reserves.

The Great Rift Valley lakes are a set of freshwater lakes in the East African Great Lakes region, specifically in the trough of the East African Rift. There are eight main lakes, many smaller ones, and some saltwater lagoons. The average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Kenyan highlands vary from 75.2 °F (24 °C) to 57.2 °F (14 °C). The average annual rainfall ranges from 20 in (500 mm) on the western slopes of Mount Kenya to 47 in (1,200 m) near Mount Kilimanjaro.


What is the Great Rift Valley known for?

The Great Rift Valley comprises a series of geographical features that stretch from Lebanon to Mozambique. The name is used for the continuous geographic trench, mainly in the eastern part of Africa. It's a hotbed for geology, with several volcanoes, earthquakes, hot springs, and geysers.

What was found in the Great Rift Valley?

The most famous discovery in the Great Rift Valley was made by Dr. Richard Leakey, who found fossilized ape skulls dating back 1.75 million years near Lake Turkana in Kenya. Other notable discoveries include 'Lucy,' an Australopithecus afarensis, which Donald Johanson discovered near Hadar in Ethiopia.

How old is the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift Valley was created around 35 million years ago.

Who Discovered the Great Rift Valley?

John 'Jack' Walter Gregory, a geologist from London born in 1864, discovered the Great Rift almost a century ago.

How many lakes are present in the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift Valley has eight lakes, of which Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa), Lake Albert, and Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf) are well known.

Who lives in the Great Rift Valley?

The Great Rift Valley houses many tribes like the Kikuyu, Maasai, and Kamba people; all referred to as 'tribes' from Kenya and Tanzania.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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