Explain the process of formation of a rift valley, emphasizing on the Great Rift Valley system.

Rift Valley is a depressed area between two adjacent highland areas. It is formed due to tectonic plates’ movement.

They are found both on earth and under water. E.g. East African rift Valley, Narmada rift Valley.

Process of Rift Valley formation:

  • Divergent plates start moving away from each other.
  • These divergent plates when make significant movement, create a rift Valley. River starts flowing usually through this.
  • After long time this converts into sea.
  • At transform boundaries, the Rift Valley is formed due to grinding of plates and creating of faults.

Great Rift Valley System:

  • This system lies in Eastern Africa and extends from horn of Africa to south till Mozambique.
  • It comprises of eastern rift and western rift. Eastern rift is causing the continent of Africa to split into two parts from here. Western rift formed at African lakes and has huge biodiversity in these areas.
  • This rift valley is very old and accompanied by huge volcanism.

Plate boundaries give rise to various landforms which are to be seen over a longer period of time.


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