This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
0 INTRODUCTION The Great Rift Valley is a vast geographical and geological feature, approximately 6,000 km in length, which runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa. It is the longest fault system in the world. Elevations range from about 1,300 feet (400 m) below sea level in the Dead Sea to more than 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level in southern Kenya. The explorer John Walter Gregory named it. The East African Rift System (EARS) is one the geologic wonders of the world, a place where the earth's tectonic forces are presently trying to create new plates by splitting Figure 1 East African Rift Valley apart old ones. Geologists are still debating exactly how rifting comes about, but the process is so well displayed in East Africa (Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania) that geologists have attached a name to the new plate-to-be; the Nubian Plate makes up most of Africa, while the smaller plate that is pulling away has been named the Somalian Plate. These two plates are moving away form each other and also away from the Arabian plate to the north. The point where these three plates meet in the Afar region of Ethiopia forms what is called a triple-junction. However, all the rifting in East Africa is not confined to the Horn of Africa; there is a lot of rifting activity further south as well, extending into Kenya and Tanzania and Great Lakes region of Africa. 2.0 EAST AFRICAN RIFT VALLEY SYSTEM (EARS) 2.1 WHAT IS EAST AFRICAN RIFT VALLEY SYSTEM (EARS) A rift valley in geology is a valley created by the formation of a rift. The Great Rift Valley, located in the Middle East and Africa, is the most famous of the world's rift valleys. The oldest and best-defined rift occurs in the Afar region of Ethiopia and this rift is usually referred to as the Ethiopian Rift. In south of Ethiopia the Great Rift Valley is divided into an eastern and a western branch. The eastern branch, which runs through Kenya and Tanzania, has many volcanoes and several shallow lakes. At some points steep-sided cliffs mark the valley. The western branch, which runs along the Democratic Republic of the Congo's eastern frontier, is marked by a chain of large, deep lakes and has few volcanoes. The branches converge at Lake Nyasa, in southeastern Africa, and continue south as one system to central Mozambique. Lake Victoria, the second largest area freshwater lake in the world, is considered part of the Rift Valley system although
along with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is an example of the process of Figure 2: Horst and Graben formation in Kenya continental rifting. which flow over large areas and are usually preserved/exposed on the flanks of the rift. The formation of the Rift Valley. As they continue to separate. In this case. As these bulges form. if it continues to grow. which are all. what people might assume to be a single rift somewhere in East Africa is really a series of distinct rift basins. These bulges can be easily seen as elevated highlands on any topographic map of the area. with the central part of each arm of the split collapsing downward to form a graben. in this case the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.2 FORMATION OF EAST AFRICAN RIFT VALLEY SYSTEM (EARS) Rift valleys are produced by tensional tectonic forces. if the . One popular model for the EARS assumes that elevated heat flow from the astenosphere is causing a pair of thermal "bulges" in central Kenya and the Afar region of north-central Ethiopia. These eruptions are considered by some geologists to be "flood basalts" . 2. related and produce the distinctive geology and topography of East Africa. the Middle East Peninsula is being separated from Africa. will turn East Africa into an island in the Indian Ocean. they stretch and appear as host and graben structure due to fault movement or vertical Earth movements. The rift valley stage involves early graben formation prior to continental splitting. All of the African Great Lakes were formed as the result of the rift.but this uplift is not ubiquitous and may be connected with underlying mantle hotspots. This stage may be associated with domal uplift caused by uprise of hot upper mantle material . Such eruptions can cover massive areas of land and develop enormous thicknesses. the East African Rift. The stretching process associated with rift formation is often preceded by huge volcanic eruptions. and most lie within its rift valley. The uplift leads to the formation of three-way split. forming new oceanic crust and the beginning of a new ocean.it actually lies between the two branches. The third part of the split.the lava is erupted along fractures and runs over the land in sheets like water during a flood. Thus. which occur at divergent plate boundaries. Two of the arms of that split continue to grow. mantle material flows out.
the eruption of Afar Plume and Karroo Plume has generated huge volumes of basalt that have come from deep mantle. Thus. which provide such an interesting structures to be learned. it will lead to the formation of oceanic crust and the birth of a new ocean basin.3 PETROLEUM SYSTEM The continental margins become sedimentary basins because the subsidence of the rift valley floor continues long after the continents have drifted away from the spreading center. half of that petroleum lies in reservoirs deposited around this area. The East African Rift System however. actively developing rift system.streching of the crust continues.0 CONCLUSION East African Rift Valley System (EARS) has provided very complicated system of rift series. In addition. Intracontinental rifts. fostered the establishment of a new shallow-mantle convective circulation pattern. Rivers deliver sediments from erosion to fill the subsiding continental margin and force it even deeper with the added weight they bring. 3. This region has become the root for better understanding of the continental rift structurally and also the relation of it with petroleum system. some great reservoir rocks will be accumulated in that space. on each occasion. basins and swells developed above the new convection pattern after both arrests. Besides. The importance of the Karroo and Afar Plumes comes from the fact that they arrested the motion of the African Plate and. Nowadays there is a lot of oil basin that has been discovered and explored in East Africa and Africa is becoming increasingly interesting for the global oil industry. . 2. Organic-rich sedimentary rocks deposited in rifts and at continental margins and are buried today under piles of sedimentary rock eroded from swells that have been rising since the later Afar-Plume-induced platepinning episode (A-pippe) began at 31 Ma. is an excellent field laboratory to study a modern. Most rifts in other parts of the world have progressed to the point that they are now either under water or have been filled in with sediments and are thus hard to study directly. Oil and gas generated following source-rock burial by sediments eroded from Africa’s active swells during the past 31 Ma together make up the main of Africa’s hydrocarbon resource.
K. East African Rift System-An Overview.com/PDFs/INFO/Great%20Rift%20Valley. Geological Society (207). D. (2003). (2008). A. East Africa's Great Rift Valley: A Complex Rift System.Retrieved 5 Nov 2011 from http://www. 21-60..com/articles/east-africa-rift. Wood. D. Retrieved 5 Nov 2011 from http://geology. & Guth. USA. Lake Naivasha.R.safariexpress. N..S.4.daleeasley. K. The East African Rift Valley.com/resources/Essays/EastAfricanRift. Special Publication. Michigan Technological University.pdf Saemundsson. MacGregor. London.shtml. . J. (2003). (2005). Kenya. & Cameron.html Great Rift Valley.0 REFERENCES Burke. Retrieved 5 Nov 2011 from http://www.. Africa’s Petroleum Systems: Four Tectonic ‘Aces’ In The Past 600 Million Years. Easley.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.