The Great East African Rift Valley
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The East African Rift is perhaps the largest rift valley in the world ,stretching from as far as Ethiopia at the Afar Triple Junction in the north to the south in Mozambique. The rift was formed when the African Plate started pulling itself apart(divergence) 20-30 million years ago.The rift valley is thought to have been formed by a magma blister in the north near the surface after failing to burst through the surface.The magma growed and stretched for hundreds of kilometres near the surface inflicting tremendous force against the crust.
Eventually, the crust snapped all the way down to the south creating grabens and hosts.Around Uganda and Kenya the magma plume splitted into two branches creating the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift.The Eastern part is called the Somali Plate and the Western part of the whole of Africa is called the Nubian.The two faults stretches all the way to Mozambique in the south.The formation of the EARV is uncertain with different theories and explanations put forth to describe its origin.Today the fault slowly stretches down and if it reaches the Indian Ocean in the south the horn of Africa will be separated from the main continent.
Most earthquakes and volcanoes in Africa are mainly situated and generated along the rift valley.Most of the volcanoes are extinct with some occasional dormant and active volcanoes eg Nyirangongo in DRC erupted in 2002,Eta Ale,Mt Kilimanjaro etc .Africa eg Zimbabwe usually doesn’t experience major tectonic activities such as volcanoes and earthquakes because the plate boundaries are mainly far from the continental land.
The only recent major earthquake in Southern Africa occurred in 2006 with the epicenter in Mozambique.The fault movement along the rift valley can be accountable for the earthquake.
The rift valley has created lakes and proven usually in most