Talk:Great Rift Valley

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I don't think[edit]

I don't think is specific enough I'v heard of Jordan-Red Sea Rift or fault and of Great rift valley, separate entites for all i know. Maybe there's some neq evidence.


I learned about the Great Rift at school in the 50's but I never knew it extended North past Ethiopia. The Salelite image makes me wonder if we knew that 50 years ago and how much of a role satelite imagery has played in defining this natural wonder. Anyone got any comments?

I certainly knew about it 50 years ago. The fact that it ran north and included the Dead Sea area was being taught when I was at school in Kenya during the period 1955-60. MWLittleGuy (talk) 18:25, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Not enough[edit]

Not enough information!!-i agree-

Piedmont?[edit]

The Rift Valley has been a rich source of anthropological discovery, especially in Piedmont

What Piedmont is this? --Joy [shallot] 13:44, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Danakil Depression[edit]

I would assume that the Danakil depression in Ethiopia and Eritrea is part of this geological complex. However, Wikipedia somehow omits any findable mention of this region. – llywrch 06:44, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

East Africa is being torn apart at the rift, which is deepening and widening with (Geologic time, not Human/Life) time. Eventually, ocean waters will rush in to form a new gulf as Somalia breaks away from Africa.

I didn't know that is happening. Anybody with any information on how fast the above process is happening and approximate time of the flooding? gathima 17:50, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Running[edit]

The specific geographical and cultural conditions of the Rift Valley have produced most of the world's best distance runners. Does this fit with this article? ManfredLong 11:01, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

What is the evidence that the great Ethiopian, Kenyan and Tanzanian long-distance runners come from the rift valley rather than, say, the mountainous regions of their countries? Rexparry sydney 04:37, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Southern Rift valley[edit]

The article lacks any information on the section from Lake Rukwa to the Zambezi, can anyone add this. Rexparry sydney 04:39, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The Jordan-Dead Sea graben photo - Why ?[edit]

Why is there a photograph of the Jordan-Dead Sea graben when the article is about the Great Rift Valley and the Jordan-Dead Sea graben is not part of that, even though it is a result of the plate tectonic movement in the over-all area? --Bejnar (talk) 20:05, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

At the risk of stating the obvious, the article says that the Dead Sea area is part of the Great Rift Valley. Dragons flight (talk) 20:12, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not the red sea, dead sea and all points north are part of the great rift system is beyond my geologic knowledge, but i think there is a consensus that the east african rift clearly is, so i wonder why both photographs show the northern rifts rather than east africa. There is a great photo of the east african rift at this website and i have sent the owner an email asking to use it in this article.68.105.141.114 (talk) 19:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


The Jordan Rift Valley[edit]

  • The Jordan Rift Valley is not an extension of the Great Rift Valley. The Greta Rift Valley is formed by the Arabian plate and the African plate pulling apart. The Jordan Rift Valley with the East Anatolian faults is where the adjacent plates grind past each other. See Horowitz, Aharon (2001) The Jordan Rift Valley A.A. Balkema, Lisse, ISBN 90-5809-351-4, and "Tectonics of the Arabian Plate" NASA. --Bejnar (talk) 20:23, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, some of the discrepancy is in the nomenclature - certainly, the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley and the Red Sea are not literally part of Africa's Great Rift Valley. However, they are all part of the East Africa Rift System - East African Rift redirects to this article, Great Rift Valley. And to me it would be totally irrelevant and highly semantic and conventional to exclude the Dead Sea area from the East African Rift System because of the geographical curiosity that the Dead Sea is in Asia rather than Africa. Their intimate interrelation justifies, in my opinion, lumping them together. Just my 2 cents (US). Cheers Geologyguy (talk) 20:44, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Then I guess that my beef is that the article does not make that clear, and that the better title would be "East Africa Rift System". But I guess that the decision on title is already well made. Is that true? --Bejnar (talk) 21:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
It does appear that the redirect has been in place since 11 June 2005. Great Rift Valley (231,000 google hits) is likely more common in terms of popular knowledge, whereas East Africa Rift (5,140 hits) is more of a technical, geological name. Personally I don't care much given our ability to break sub-articles out and make redirects and links, though I certainly see your point, and agree that strictly speaking, "Great Rift Valley" would not include the Dead Sea-Jordan River system, nor the Red Sea, nor the Gulf of Aden, while "East Africa Rift System" would. Shall we wait for other comments? Cheers Geologyguy (talk) 21:36, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually if you search on East African Rift you get a lot more hits on google (119,000). My view is that the East African Rift should refer to the rift that passes through the eastern part of Africa rather than involving the Red Sea and the dominantly transform boundary that goes through the Dead Sea and the Jordan valley. The same is just as true for anything titled Great rift valley IMO. Mikenorton 15:44, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I propose to edit this article now to correct the erroneous notion that the name "Great Rift Valley" applies to the Red Sea Rift and the Dead Sea Rift/Transform zone. These are not in any way, geologically or geographically, the same. The distinction arises fundamentally because the Afar Triple Junction is a Y-type, thus all the "legs" of it are independent, unlike say, for example, a T-type where two of the legs are a continuous rift (as say at the Azores Triple Junction). Moreover, the Red Sea Rift has a name, as does the Dead Sea Rift (or Transform depending on the hypothesis). Let me add that none of my National Geograohic maps show the Great Rift Valley as being anywhere but in East Africa. I believe the broader usage is an archaic observation from the 19th century. Tmangray (talk) 22:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
African geography and geology on Wikipedia tend to be corrupted under "geography" where they exist at all. I'm not certain this article was intended to be about the geological feature (although the title applies less to the geographical feature if its as broad as described) due to undefined scope. This is probably just due to a shortage of writes on African articles, or maybe geological articles.
The Afar Triple Junction article is a single sentence. Good luck, but I do hope you take time to work on the Triple Junction, also. It makes it harder when the starting point is in such a sorry state. --Blechnic (talk) 03:29, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


Map[edit]

I wish there were a map outlining the specific rift valleys under discussion. I find the photos and the text confusing as I am not that familiar with the geology of that part of the world but would like to be. Sincerely, –Mattisse (Talk) 16:46, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Unclear language[edit]

"The name continues in some usages, although it is today considered geologically imprecise as it includes what are today regarded as separate, since 1869 due to the Suez Canal Company project, although related rift and fault systems" (emphasis added).

This is a hard sentence to read and decipher. If I understand it, the Suez project somehow split the valley in two, but that doesn't make sense to me. --Chriswaterguy talk 17:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Nor to me, I've removed the offending part of the sentence, I hope that it's a lot clearer now. Mikenorton (talk) 18:47, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Piedmont??[edit]

What is the reference to Piedmont? The wikipedia article Piedmont doesn't mention this at all. Should this be removed as unsourced and unexplained nonsense? ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dangle98 (talkcontribs) 03:27, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Now I see that someone already asked about this, some five years ago, and there was never any reply. So I deleted the reference from the article -- if in five years no one has been able to figure out what it means, I suggest it shouldn't be there. Dangle98 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:30, 30 August 2010 (UTC).

Proposed merge with East African Rift[edit]

No reason has been given for this merge, but I suppose that we need to go through the process, so I've started this discussion section and directed the merge tags on the two articles to it.

  • Oppose The Great Rift Valley is a mainly archaic term as far as geology is concerned, whereas the East African Rift is the term normally used. If there is to be a merger it should be the other way around, but I think that there this enough historical usage of the the Great Rift Valley with its much greater geographical extent to justify a separate article. Mikenorton (talk) 23:51, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge. There is a need for expansion of both articles. The Great Rift Valley should focus on the geography, ecology and history of the valley. The scope of the East African Rift should be more narrow and focus on the geology: the tectonics and volcanism. The section on the Sinai, the Dead Sea transform and Red Sea belongs in the East African Rift article - as it is not relevant to the history and geography of the Great rift valley. There will be some overlap obviously, but should be plenty of material available to expand both. Vsmith (talk) 00:35, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge, but I am confused about terminology. "Great Rift Valley" perhaps refers to the hypothetical trench from Mozambique to Syria, a valid subject for a short article on a historical concept. "Great Rift Valley" is also popularly used for the Kenya Rift Valley, a well-defined geographical concept. The Albertine Rift, for which I just started an article, is another a well-defined geographical concept. I am inclined to start a new article for the Kenya Rift Valley and to make "Great Rift Valley" a disambiguation pointing to this and to the historical one. East African Rift would be mostly geology, while the Kenya and Albertine rifts would be mostly geography. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:58, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Tags removed as no support for merge provided. Vsmith (talk) 21:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Page name change?[edit]

I don't understand the addition of the disambiguation here. Is there some other "Great Rift Valley"? Dragons flight (talk) 18:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Seems to have resulted from the merge discussion above. Aymatth2 seems to think we need clarification that this is about geography as opposed to the geology focus of the East African Rift article. I don't really see the need for the name change, the intro to the article should simply be used to make the difference clear. However, I'll give Aymatth2 time to respond before moving it back. Vsmith (talk) 19:13, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I moved too fast. Rationale is that I see the following uses for the term "Great Rift Valley", roughly in order of popularity based on inbound links:
  • The Great Rift Valley in Kenya
  • The Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia
  • The Albertine rift
  • The Jordan rift valley
  • The East African Rift
  • The chain of East African Rift - Red Sea Rift - Jordan Valley Rift (The current "Great Rift Valley" article)
Each of these is a distinct concept, although they are related. There is plenty of material for complete articles on each topic. I have made a start on articles for the Albertine, Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts and expect to significantly expand each of these. They have different geography, people, politics etc, even though they share geological causes as parts of the East African rift. The question is which article deserves the "Great Rift Valley" title. Based on frequency of reference from other articles, the Kenyan one is most likely what a reader is looking for, then the Ethiopian one, etc. and lastly the current article. But use of "Great Rift Valley" for the region in Kenya is not a dominant meaning - probably no more than 50%. The solution seems to be to make the "Great Rift Valley" title a disambiguation and let the reader choose the one they want. But I should have raised that here first. Apologies. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:04, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm still confused. If someone searches for "Great Rift Valley", it is certainly possible that they are actually looking for a more narrow subtopic, such as Albertine Rift, but no one would say that the Albertine Rift by itself is the same as the Great Rift Valley. Aside from East African Rift, each of the items you have highlighted would seem to be subtopic that individually encompasses only a minor portion of the Great Rift Valley concept. They should be linked from here, but I don't see any reason to believe that they should displace this page in naming priority. I'm also not even sure a disambig page would make sense for most of those. It would be a bit like saying, "Human may refer to: Arm, Leg, Head". Yes, they are individually related pieces, but we generally use disambiguation to help people navigate unrelated things with similar names, and not to traverse subtopics. Subtopics are generally identified as components of main articles (and via navigation templates), which seems a more natural approach here than building a disambig page. Dragons flight (talk) 22:03, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
A couple of points. First, I have been doing some clean-up. There were articles with statements like "this butterfly is found only in the Great Rift Valley" that clearly meant the Jordan Rift Valley. The butterfly is not found around the Red Sea or anywhere in Africa. I fixed them by changing the link target to Jordan Rift Valley. But new articles will be started and will again link to the "Great Rift Valley" when they mean the "Jordan Rift Valley", because that is the only Great Rift Valley the author is aware of. Ditto with links that clearly meant Kenyan Rift Valley and so on. Better to point to the specific article that the author presumably intended. A link to a disambig is easier to spot and fix.
Second, more basic, is that many, perhaps most, people think that the "Great Rift Valley" is the place with the flamingos, lions and zebras, Maasai warriors in the foreground, Mt. Kenya in the background, that they have seen on so many TV documentaries. And this is a real valley with a floor, lakes, escarpments and so on. The Jordan valley is a long way away, not the same thing at all. Yet a fair number of readers think the Jordan valley is the real "Great Rift Valley". The number of people who think of the Great Rift Valley as Gregory's collection of rifts is, I think, very much smaller.
The question is not the "right" meaning of the term but the common meaning. The Kenyan region seems to be the most common meaning - but not quite common enough to take over the title with a "For ... (disambiguation) hatnote". The obvious solution, I think, is a disambiguation page. There is no urgency to resolve this question. I will plug away on the Kenya and Ethiopia articles, but will not turn the redirect into a disambiguation page for now. Aymatth2 (talk) 00:28, 22 December 2011 (UTC)