rift valley

rift valley

noun Geology.
2.
a subsea chasm extending along the crest of a mid-ocean ridge, locus of the magma upwellings that accompany seafloor spreading.

Origin:
1890–95

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World English Dictionary
rift valley
 
n
a long narrow valley resulting from the subsidence of land between two parallel faults, often associated with volcanism. The East African Rift Valley is an example

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rift valley  
  1. A long, narrow valley lying between two normal geologic faults. Rift valleys usually form where the Earth's lithosphere has become thin through extension associated with plate-tectonic processes. Unlike river valleys and glacial valleys that form primarily through erosional processes, rift valleys form by the subsidence of the intermediate land as the faults are pulled apart. They are on the order of thousands of kilometers long and wide. See more at normal fault.

  2. The deep undersea valley located along the center of the mid-ocean ridge. It is associated with the crustal thinning and extensional forces that cause magma to upwell onto the ocean floor.


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