- Great Rift Valley
a series of rift valleys running from N to S, from the Jordan Valley in SW Asia to Mozambique in SE Africa.
* * *Rift system (see rift valley), extending from Jordan in the Middle East south to Mozambique in southern Africa.It is some 4,000 mi (6,400 km) long and averages 30–40 mi (48–64 km) wide. The rift has been forming for some 30 million years, as Africa and the Arabian Peninsula separate, and has produced such massifs as Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The system's main branch, the Eastern Rift Valley, is occupied in the north by the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. It continues south along the Red Sea to several lakes in Kenya. Less obvious in Tanzania, with its eastern rim eroded, it continues south to the Indian Ocean near Beira, Mozam. The western branch of the system, the Western Rift Valley, extends north from the northern end of Lake Malawi in an arc that includes lakes Rukwa, Tanganyika, Kivu, Edward, and Albert.
* * *major branch of the East African Rift System (q.v.).
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