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Day 53 – Q 2. What is the Great Rift Valley and where is it located? Why is it significant geographically? Discuss. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • March 24, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World Geography
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2. What is the Great Rift Valley and where is it located? Why is it significant geographically? Discuss. (10 Marks)

ग्रेट रिफ्ट वैली क्या है और यह कहाँ स्थित है? भौगोलिक दृष्टि से यह महत्वपूर्ण क्यों है? चर्चा कीजिए।

Approach 

Students are expected to write about the great rift valley and it’s location also discuss the significance of great rift valley geographically. 

Introduction 

A rift valley is a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart or rift. Faulting due to divergence creates the rift system. For example Great Rift Valley. 

Body

Great rift Valley:

The Great Rift Valley is a series of contiguous geographic trenches, approximately 7,000 kilometres in total length, that runs from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon which is in Asia to Mozambique in Southeast Africa.

Geographic Significance:

  • The Rift Valley has been a rich source of fossils that allow study of human evolution, especially in an area known as Piedmont. 
  • Because the rapidly eroding highlands have filled the valley with sediments, a favourable environment for the preservation of remains has been created.
  • Those parts that are grasslands contain a greater concentration of wild animals than any other area of comparable size. Species unique to the Rift Valley include the mountain gorilla that is found on the forested slopes of the Virunga volcanoes and fish that dwell in the alkaline springs.
  • The wide variety of terrains from desert to mountain results in adaptation of flora to altitude, temperature, and rainfall totals. 
  • The African Rift Valley lakes include some of the oldest, largest, and deepest lakes in the world, and many are freshwater ecoregions of great biodiversity, while others are alkaline or soda lakes supporting highly specialized organisms.
  • The lakes of the Western or Albertine Rift, together with Lake Victoria, include the largest, deepest, and oldest of the Rift Valley lakes. They are also referred to as the Central African lakes. Lakes Albert, Victoria, and Edward are part of the Nile River basin.
  • The volcanic activity at this site and unusual concentration of hotspots has produced the volcanic mountains Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Meru, and Mount Elgon, as well as the Crater Highlands in Tanzania.

Conclusion

The Earth is an ever-changing planet, even though in some respects change might be almost unnoticeable to us. This change is currently happening and East African rift system is a perfect example of it.

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