Rift (geology)

linear zone where the Earth's crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart
(Redirected from Rift valley)

In geology, a rift is caused by tectonic plates in the Earth's lithosphere moving apart. Rifts are usually accompanied by orogeny (mountain building), volcanoes and earthquakes.[1][2] The Great Rift Valley in East Africa is an example.

The internal dynamics of a rift system.

A rift is the result of the pulling apart or extension of the crust and lithosphere. Mantle upwelling brings hotter asthenosphere up into the colder lithosphere. Sometime it comes out as lava. This rise occurs with the thinning and stretching of the lithosphere.

Plates in the crust of the earth (plate tectonics theory)


  1. http://www.mantleplumes.org/VM_DecompressMelt.html Decompressional Melting During Extension of Continental Lithosphere
  2. http://www.le.ac.uk/geology/art/gl209/lecture4/lecture4.html Plate Tectonics: Lecture 2