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Rift Valley HTML5


Where divergence is concerned, the continental lithosphere is subjected to pressures that will stretch it and lead to its being torn apart into two lithospheric plates. One speaks of continental drift.

Normal faults (listric) cut up and thin down the lithosphere. A rift is created. If the divergence continues, the asthenosphere can reach the surface and generate oceanic crust: this is the birth of an ocean.

Learning goals

  • To observe the effects of pressure during expansion.
  • To introduce the rift and the oceanic ridge.
  • To make the connection between similar phenomena (graben, horst).