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Slide 1: From space the Afro-Arabian rift system is one of Earth’s most prominent landscape features. In this view taken by Apollo 17 astronauts, the Afars Triangle or "triple junction" can be clearly seen.  This junction is where the Arabian, African and Indian Plates meet to form the Red Sea rift (RSR), the Gulf of Aden Graben (GAG) and parts of the Ethiopian Rift Valley (ERV).  Much of the central part of the East African Rift System (EARS) that extends down through Mozambique can also be observed though some rift segments are obscured by clouds.  Other segments of the EARS include: the Gregory Rift Valley (GRV), Western Rift Valley (WRV), Lake Malawi (LM), the Shire Valley (SV) and the lower Zambezi.  See Slide 3 for a map showing the precise location of the various segments of the EARS indicated above. 

Credit: Courtesy NASA. NASA NSSDC Photo Gallery 

Created 12 February 1998. Last updated 30 April 1998  by JDH.