Rift Zone

Definition - What does Rift Zone mean?

Rift zone is an area on the earth where the plates move away from each other and form an extensive system of fractures and faults. It is one of the features of volcanoes in which linear fissures in volcanic edifice allow lava to erupt from its summit. It tends to extend over 10 kilometers and radially outward from the volcanic summit. Repetitive accumulations of lava cause the volcano to have an elongated shape.

Petropedia explains Rift Zone

Rift Zones are characterized by volcanoes and transverse faults. These are one of the preferred directions where dike propagation happens due to the stress orientations. At the initial stage, the divergent boundaries produce rifts and become rift valleys. One of the most active divergent boundaries occurs in between the mid-oceanic ridges and oceanic plates. The surface is characterized with the presence of numerous vents, earth cracks or cinder cones that are clear indications that magma intrudes into the rift zones. The best example of a Rift Zone is Mauna Loa.

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