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tlr online
06-03-05, 00:31
In the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa, scores of fires were burning on February 22, 2005, when this image was captured by the Aqua MODIS instrument. Northwest of the largest lake, Lake Victoria, active fires (locations marked in red) were burning in southwestern Uganda. The border between Uganda and its western neighbor, Democratic Republic of Congo, falls through the middle of Lake Albert, the northernmost of three lakes that mark the western side of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The three lakes appear splashed with gold due to sun glint. The other two lakes are Lake Edward (middle) and Lake Kivu. The fires in Democratic Republic of Congo give the impression of a corral surrounding the country’s tropical forests.

The Great Rift Valley stretches for over 4830 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) through southwestern Asia and eastern Africa, from northern Syria to central Mozambique. A rift valley is literally a crack (trough) in the Earth's crust. To each side are faults, which move as pressures along the tectonic plates change. Because of the high amounts of geological activity in these areas, volcanoes and earthquakes are common.

http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/images/image03052005_md.jpg

Copyright 2005 NASA