Africa

East Africa's Great Rift Valley

Published 4:45 AM ET, Thu April 5, 2018
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A crack has appeared in Kenya that is thought to be the result of gliding plate tectonics. THOMAS MUKOYA/REUTERS/Newscom
The crack appeared in the East African Rift that stretches across the region. It stretches over 3,000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south. Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
In northwestern Kenya, in the East African Rift Valley, there is a volcanic area south of Lake Turkana. The Earth's crust is broken into a number of plates that sometimes glide to form dramatic cracks like the one that recently appeared. De Agostini via Getty Images
The valley also has volcanism and seismic activity. In the Rift Valley, Tanzania, Lengai is the only active natriumcarbonatite volcano in the world, this lava is liquid like water. Martin Rietze/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Rifts are the beginning phase of a continental breakup. Jean-Denis JOUBERT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
The seismic activity in the East African Rift Valley is of relatively small magnitude. Jean-Denis JOUBERT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
The East African Rift Valley extends to Ethiopia. C. SAPPA/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images
There are many ancient geological formations that can be found in the valley. De Agostini via Getty Images
The Great Rift Valley is home to spectacular landscapes. shutterstock