Ethiopian rift valley lakes part 43
The Rift Valley lakes are a group of lakes in the East African Rift that runs north-south through the eastern side of the African continent, from Ethiopia in the north to Malawi in the south. These lakes include some of the oldest, largest, and deepest lakes in the world. Many are freshwater ecoregions of great biodiversity, while others are alkaline "soda lakes" supporting highly specialised organisms.
- Ethiopian rift valley lakes part 43
- Rift valley lakes in kenya
- Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes
- Eastern Rift Valley lakes (Gregory Rift in Kenya and Tanzania)
- Western or Albertine Rift Valley lakes
- Southern Rift Valley lakes (Tanzania and Malawi)
- Other lakes of the Great Rift Valley
The Rift Valley lakes are well known for the evolution of at least 800 cichlid fish species that live in their waters. More species are expected to be discovered.
The World Wildlife Fund has designated these lakes as one of its Global 200 priority ecoregions for conservation.
In this article, the major lakes are listed, generally in order from north to south, and more detailed articles on each lake can be accessed through the linked names.
Rift valley lakes in kenya
Lakes such as Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika have formed in the various valleys of the East African Rift zone, including the huge Lake Victoria.
Lake Kivu's "still waters ... hide another face: dissolved within are billions of cubic meters of flammable methane and more still of carbon dioxide, the result of volcanic gases seeping in."
Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes
The Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes are the northernmost of the African Rift Valley lakes. In central Ethiopia, the Great Rift Valley splits the Ethiopian highlands into northern and southern halves, and the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes occupy the floor of the rift valley between the two highlands. Most of the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes do not have an outlet, and most are alkaline. Although the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes are of great importance to Ethiopia's economy, as well as being essential to the survival of the local people, there were no intensive and extensive limnological studies undertaken of these lakes until recently.
The major ones are
Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, lies in the Ethiopian highlands north of the Rift Valley; however, it is not a Rift Valley lake.
Eastern Rift Valley lakes (Gregory Rift in Kenya and Tanzania)
South of the Ethiopian highlands, the rift valley splits into two major troughs. The Eastern Rift is home to the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes, while most of the Central African Rift Valley lakes lie in the Western Rift.
The Kenyan section of the Rift Valley is home to eight lakes, of which three are freshwater and the rest alkaline. Of the latter, the shallow soda lakes of the Eastern Rift Valley have crystallised salt turning the shores white and are famous for the large flocks of flamingo that feed on crustaceans.
All the lakes in the Tanzanian section of this group are alkaline:
Western or Albertine Rift Valley lakes
The lakes of the Western or Albertine Rift, 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.
Lake Victoria (elevation 1,134 metres (3,720 ft)), with an area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi), is the largest lake in Africa. It is not in the rift valley, instead occupying a depression between the eastern and western rifts formed by the uplift of the rifts to either side. Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi are sometimes collectively known as the African Great Lakes.
The Western Rift Valley lakes are fresh water and home to an extraordinary number of species. Approximately 1,500 cichlid fish (Cichlidae) species live in the lakes. In addition to the cichlids, populations of Clariidae, Claroteidae, Mochokidae, Poeciliidae, Mastacembelidae, Centropomidae, Cyprinidae, Clupeidae and other fish families are found in these lakes. They are also important habitats for a number of amphibian species, including Amietophrynus kisoloensis, Bufo keringyagae, Cardioglossa cyaneospila, and Nectophryne batesii.
Southern Rift Valley lakes (Tanzania and Malawi)
The Southern Rift Valley lakes are like the Western Rift Valley lakes in that, with one exception, they are freshwater lakes.