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Posts tagged Great Rift Valley

Dust Over the Afar Depression, Ethiopia and Eritrea

12.3N 40.7E

June 10th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Ethiopia - June 9th, 2012

Dust blows across the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (upper right), over Eritrea (by the coast) and over Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, it is hemmed in and funneled southwards by the mountains bordering the Afar Region. The name of the funnel-shaped area is the Afar Depression or Afar Triangle, a geological depression that is caused by the Afar Triple Junction which is part of the Great Rift Valley. It overlaps Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia. Visible near the left edge, unaffected by the dust, is the green Lake Tana.

Lakes Turkana and Kyoga and Mount Elgon, Uganda and Kenya – December 31st, 2011

3.6N 36.0E

December 31st, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Volcanoes

Uganda and Kenya - December 29th, 2011

The image focuses on Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. Here, sediments and algal growth turn the lake’s color from tan in the north to green and then a dark, bluish green in the south.

It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. The rocks of the surrounding area are predominantly volcanic. Central Island is an active volcano, emitting vapors. Outcrops and rocky shores are found on the East and South shores of the lake, while dunes, spits and flats are on the West and North, at a lower elevation.

Visible at the bottom edge of the image are Lake Kyoga, a large shallow lake complex of Uganda, and Mount Elgon, an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya. It is the oldest and largest solitary volcano in East Africa, covering an area of around 3500 km². Lake Kyoga has an area of about 1,720 km2. The Victoria Nile flows through the lake on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert.

Lakes Malawi and Rukwa in East Africa

11.9S 34.4E

December 1st, 2011 Category: Lakes

Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania - November 22nd, 2011

Two large African lakes can be observed here: the brownish grey Lake Rukwa (upper left corner) and the elongated, dark blue Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa).

Lake Malawi is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. This lake, the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world, is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is the second deepest lake in Africa.

Lake Rukwa is an alkaline lake in southwestern Tanzania, lying midway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa at an elevation of about 800 metres, in a parallel branch of the rift system. The lake has seen large fluctuations in its size over the years, due to varying inflow of streams. Currently it is about 180 km long and averages about 32 km wide, making it about 5760 square kilometres in size.

Lake Malawi and Capital City of Lilongwe, Malawi

13.9S 33.7E

November 15th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Malawi - November 8th, 2011

This APM image shows a small section of the shoreline of Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa in most countries), an African Great Lake, in Malawi. The shoreline appears mountainous, as Lake Malawi lies in the Great Rift Valley that was formed by the opening of the East African Rift, where the African tectonic plate is being split into two pieces. It is the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa.

Further south, upon opening the full image, the city of Lilongwe can be observed as a yellowish area near the center right edge. It is the capital and largest city of Malawi, with an estimated population of 902,388 as of 2009.

Lilongwe lies in the country’s central region, on the Lilongwe River, near the border of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, and on the main north-south highway of Malawi. Lilongwe features a humid subtropical climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate, with pleasantly warm summers and mild “winters”. Due to the altitude, temperatures are lower than would be expected for a city located in the tropics.

Idjwi Island in Lake Kivu, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo

1.9S 29.1E

October 11th, 2011 Category: Lakes

DRC and Rwanda - October 3rd, 2011

This orthorectified image shows Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.

The lake is in the Albertine (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. The large island visible parallel to the left edge of the image is Idjwi, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 70 km in length and with an area of 340 km², it is the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world.