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Lake Turkana in Kenyan Rift Valley

3.6N 36.0E

January 5th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Kenya and Ethiopia - December 25th, 2011

Lake Turkana is located in the Kenyan Rift Valley, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. Three rivers (the Omo, Turkwel and Kerio) flow into the lake, but lacking outflow its only water loss is by evaporation. Here, sediments give the northern part of the lake a tan color, while the rest changes from light to dark green due to different concentrations of sediments and algae.

Lake Turkana is an East African Rift feature. A rift is a weak place in the Earth’s crust due to the separation of two tectonic plates, often accompanied by a graben, or trough, in which lake water can collect. The rift began when East Africa, impelled by currents in the mantle, began separating from the rest of Africa, moving to the northeast. Currently the graben is 320 km wide in the north of the lake, 170 km in the south.

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