Satellite Image Great Rift Valley
This Envisat satellite image highlights portions of three of the lakes located in the Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley, a geological fault system of Southwest Asia and East Africa. The series of lakes in and around the Great Rift Valley is referred to as the Great Lakes of Africa.
Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument acquired this image on 24 September 2007 while working in Wide Swath Mode (WSM) to provide a spatial resolution of 150 meters.
Image Credit: ESA (European Space Agency)
Lake Edward (top) straddles the border of DRC and Uganda (upper right). It is 77 km long, 40 km wide, and covers a total surface area of some 2300 sq km, making it the smallest of the Great Lakes of Africa. Lake Kivu (middle) borders DRC and Rwanda (right), covers a total surface area of some 2700 sq km, stands roughly 1460 m above sea level, and is 480 m deep. The pronounced depth of the lake is a result of the rift valley slowly pulling apart, causing volcanic activity. A 676 km long, Lake Tanganyika (bottom) is the world’s longest freshwater lake, nearly the entire western part of the lake is in DRC.