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Posts tagged Great Rift Valley

Lava Plans by Lake Edward, Democratic Republic of the Congo

0.3S 29.6E

October 11th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Democratic Republic of the Congo - October 3rd, 2011

This orthorectified image shows Lake Edward or Edward Nyanza, the smallest of the African Great Lakes. It is located in the western Great Rift Valley, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.

Lake Edward lies at an elevation of 920 metres, is 77 km long by 40 km wide at its maximum points, and covers a total surface area of 2,325 km2 (898 sq mi), making it the 15th-largest on the continent.

The western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley towers up to 2000 m above the western shore of the lake. The southern and eastern shores are flat lava plains. The Ruwenzori Mountains lie 20 km north of the lake.

Mountainous Walls Around Lake Tanganyika, Eastern Africa

6.5S 29.6E

October 6th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Lake Tanganyika - October 3rd, 2011

This APM image shows the northern part of Lake Tanganyika, a rift lake shared by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia.

The lake is situated within the Western Rift of the geographic feature known as the Great Rift Valley formed by the tectonic East African Rift, and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by volume in the world.

Eastern Half of Lake Kivu in Great Rift Valley, Rwanda

2S 29.1E

August 20th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Rwanda - July 27th, 2010

This orthorectified image shows mountainous western Rwanda and the eastern half of Lake Kivu (left). One of the African Great Lakes, it lies in the Albertine (western) Rift of the Great Rift Valley, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The cities of Goma, in the DRC, and Giyensi, in Rwanda, can be seen as white areas on the shores of the lake in the top left corner.

The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked fifteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains.

Lake Edward and Nearby Rivers, Democratic Republic of the Congo

0.3S 29.6E

April 7th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Democratic Republic of the Congo - March 5th, 2010

Democratic Republic of the Congo - March 5th, 2010

Sun glint causes Lake Edward to appear silvery white and nearby rivers to look like white lightning bolts zig-zagging across the lush green landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lake Edward is located in the western Great Rift Valley, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, with its northern shore a few kilometers south of the Equator. It is the smallest of the African Great Lakes.

Lake Edward lies at an elevation of 920 metres, is 77 km long by 40 km wide at its maximum points, and covers a total surface area of 2,325 km² (the 15th largest on the continent).

It is fed by the Nyamugasani, the Ishasha, the Rutshuru, and the Rwindi rivers. It empties to the north via the Semliki River into Lake Albert. Lake George to the northeast empties into Lake Edward via the Kazinga Channel.

The western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley towers up to 2000 m above the western shore of the lake. The southern and eastern shores are flat lava plains. The Ruwenzori Mountains lie 20 km north of the lake.

Lake Turkana, an East African Rift Feature in Kenya and Ethiopia

3.6N 36.0E

March 25th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Volcanoes

Kenya and Ethiopia - March 5th, 2010

Kenya and Ethiopia - March 5th, 2010

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. It is the largest permanent desert lake in the world and also the world’s largest alkaline lake.

The rocks of the surrounding area are predominantly volcanic. Central Island (visible in the center of the lake upon opening the full image) 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.

The lake 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. Currently the graben is 320 km wide in the north of the lake, 170 km in the south.

The visible tectonic features of the region result from extensive extrusions of basalt over the Turkana-Omo basin in the window 4.18-3.99 mya. These are called the Gombe Group Basalts. They are subdivided into the Mursi Basalts and the Gombi Basalts.

The two latter basalts are identified as the outcrops that are the rocky mountains and badlands around the lake.  Short-term fluctuations in lake level combined with periodic volcanic ash spewings over the region have resulted in a fortuitous layering of the ground cover over the basal rocks.

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