USGS image
Plates in the crust of the earth, according to the plate tectonics theory
Gulf of Suez rift showing main extensional faults

In geology, a rift or chasm is a place where the Earth's crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart[1] and is an example of extensional tectonics.[2]

Typical rift features are a central linear downfaulted segment, called a graben, with parallel normal faulting and rift-flank uplifts on either side forming a rift valley, where the rift remains above sea level. The axis of the rift area commonly contains volcanic rocks, and active volcanism is a part of many, but not all active rift systems.

Major rifts occur along the central axis of mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust and lithosphere is created along a divergent boundary between two tectonic plates.

Failed rifts are where continental rifting began, but then failed to continue to the point of break-up. Typically the transition from rifting to spreading develops at a triple junction where three converging rifts meet over a hotspot. Two of these evolve to the point of seafloor spreading, while the third ultimately fails, becoming an aulacogen.


See also


  1. ^ Decompressional Melting During Extension of Continental Lithosphere, Jolante van Wijk, MantlePlumes.org
  2. ^ Plate Tectonics: Lecture 2, Geology Department at University of Leicester

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  • RIFT — Обложка стандартной версии игры Разработчик Trion World Network Издатель Trion World Network Локализатор …   Википедия

  • rift — [ rift ] n. m. • 1942; mot angl., abrév. de rift valley « fossé d effondrement » ♦ Géogr. Fossé tectonique long de plusieurs centaines ou de plusieurs milliers de kilomètres, correspondant à une zone de fracture de l écorce terrestre. Les grands… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • RIFT — Entwickler Trion Wor …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rift — [ rıft ] noun count 1. ) a disagreement between two people or groups: rift between: After the war a serious rift developed between the two former allies. rift with: The government denied there had been a rift with the UN. heal the rift (=end a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Rift — bezeichnet: Grabenbruch, Riftzone, ein Begriff aus dem Bereich der Plattentektonik Rift (Sprache). südkuschitische Sprache Riftbrett, im Radialschnitt gesägte Bretter (Winkel zwischen Jahresringen und Brettseiten 60°–90°) RIFT, ein Online… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rift — RIFT, rifturi, s.n. (geol.) Şir de rupturi ale scoarţei terestre sub fundul oceanelor. ♦ Fisură în sol făcută de un râu. – Din fr., engl. rift. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  RIFT s.n. (geol.) Şir de rupturi ale scoarţei… …   Dicționar Român

  • rift — [rıft] n [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: From a Scandinavian language] 1.) a situation in which two people or groups have had a serious disagreement and begun to dislike and not trust each other = ↑split rift between/with ▪ Party officials have denied… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Rift — Rift, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Rifted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Rifting}.] To cleave; to rive; to split; as, to rift an oak or a rock; to rift the clouds. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] To dwell these rifted rocks between. Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rift — Rift, n. [Written also {reft}.] [Dan. rift, fr. rieve to rend. See {Rive}.] 1. An opening made by riving or splitting; a cleft; a fissure. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. A shallow place in a stream; a ford. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rift — (n.) c.1300, from a Scandinavian source (Cf. Dan., Norw. rift a cleft, O.Icel. ript (pronounced rift ) breach; related to O.N. ripa to break a contract (see RIVEN (Cf. riven)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • rift — rift; rift·er; rift·less; …   English syllables

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