Rift Valley is the most important geographical and geological part of Africa which starts from northern Syria to central Mozambique in East Africa and is about 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers). Astronauts say it is the utmost important physical feature on the earth that is observable from space. The Rift is famous for its outstanding scenery and plentiful, occasionally unique, wildlife. Great Rift Valley has a series of thirty lakes including three largest lakes of Africa. Lake Tanganyika of this great valley is the second deepest and Lake Victoria is the second-largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. Its width varies from twenty to sixty miles (thirty to one hundred kilometers) at different locations similarly depth from a few hundred to several thousand meters. Its northernmost part forms the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon and in Israel its south part is known as Hula Valley. Jordan River flows through Lake Hula into the Sea of Galilee in the very south part of this great valley. In the east rift is continued to the Golf od Aden. And at the point of Arabian Peninsula rift extends southeastward as portion of the mid-oceanic edge of the Indian Ocean. This valley is divided into the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift in Eastern Africa and the western part is known as the Albertine Rift. Various locations in the Albertine Rift are threatened as national parks, wildlife reserves, or forest reserves but remaining sites require legal protection particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This valley is deepest in Kenya to the north of Nairobi. Lakes of the Eastern rift have high mineral content because these lakes have no outlet to sea and result of evaporation leave the salt behind. So its lakes like Baringo, Bogoria, Nakuru and Elmenteita, are all intensely alkaline and , Lake Magadi is nearly solid sodium carbonate. Ground of Sodium carbonate provides ideal environment for algae breeding. Alkaline environment is also ideal for some species of fish, tilapia in particular So millions of bird flock to these alkaline lakes to meal on the plentiful food supply of algae and fish. water composition of different lakes of Rift valley varies from freshwater to awfully alkaline. There are at least thirty active and semi active volcanoes in the Great Rift Valley and also have a large number of hot springs along its length.
Rift Valley is the best location for the study of human evolution because it is known as home of fossils. Multiplicity of atmospheres resulting from the formation of the Rift Valley provided "an ideal situation for evolutionary change." The existence of numerous lakes in the area would have drawn animals, including hominids. A large number of bones are buried and preserved during seasonal floods in rivers and lakes. Valleys of Rift are created by tectonic activity while river valleys and glacial valleys are created by the process of erosion. Jordan Rift Valley is the Northern Part of this system which stretches from the Golan Heights, near Israel’s border with Syria and Lebanon, to the Dead Sea, to the Gulf of Aqaba—a cove of the Red Sea that separates the Sinai Peninsula from the Arabian Peninsula. Nowadays, Africa and Asia are linked by the trio of the Sinai Peninsula.
Rift valley is divided into two main parts
• East Rift Valley (Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania)
• West Rift Valley
East Rift Valley is further devided into two main parts
• Gregory Rift
• Western Rift or Albertine Rift
Gregory Rift starts from Red Sea and the Arabian Sea extends toward far south as Mount Kilimanjaro. Afar Triple Junction in Ethiopia is the most important point where Horn of Africa links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea where the Arabian plate, Nubian plate and Somali plate are tearing away from each other. The Western Rift or Albertine Rift has lot number of African Lakes and is bio diverse regions in Africa which has narrow corridor of highland forests, snow-capped mountains, savannas, and chains of lakes and wetlands.
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