rift valley


: an elongated valley formed by the depression of a block of the earth's crust between two faults or groups of faults of approximately parallel orientation

Examples of rift valley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Valles Marineris is thought to be a rift valley, formed by uplift when hot material from the Mars's mantle bubbled up and stretched the planet's crust. Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2010 Rather than having a central volcano, the Reykjanes Peninsula is dominated by a rift valley with lava fields and cones. Alexandra Banner, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024 Rather than having a central volcano, the Reykjanes Peninsula is dominated by a rift valley, with lava fields and cones. Catherine Nicholls, CNN, 2 Mar. 2024 Baringo is a county based within Kenya’s rift valley, which, according to Buret, experiences unnoticeable tectonic earth movement daily. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2023 Fontana is a geothermal spa with a beautiful pool overlooking þingvallavatn, a rift valley lake in þingvellir National Park (which is also home to famous sites like the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area). Erika Owen, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 July 2022 Rotorua draws tourists to its famous hot springs, but for visitors who prefer science to spas, the nearby volcanic rift valley Waimangu (www.waimangu.co.nz) is a must. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 25 Feb. 2014 Because of its location, the lake bed sits upon a rift valley and thus is slowly being pulled apart. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 15 Feb. 2022 The Bor family’s story begins in the rift valley of Kenya where the oldest six of seven siblings grew up in the running mecca of Eldoret, while the youngest, Hillary, went to live with his grand parents in Kaspabet. Orrin Konheim, Outside Online, 29 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rift valley.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rift valley was in 1894

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Cite this Entry

“Rift valley.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rift%20valley. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

rift valley

: a long valley formed by the sinking of the earth's crust between two parallel or nearly parallel faults or groups of faults

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