The Volcanological Development of the Kenya Rift

  • L. A. J. Williams
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (ASIC, volume 36)


Cainozoic volcanics are exposed along the entire length (750 km) of the sinuous but generally north-south Kenya rift. At various stages in its evolution, the volcanics filled and spread beyond the rift depression to coalesce with the products of eruptions at or far beyond its margins. As a result, Miocene to Recent lavas and pyroclastics have come to be distributed in a meridional belt up to 550 km wide. The volcanics embrace the full compositional range from basalts and nephelinites to trachytes, phonolites and alkali rhyolites. They occupy the graben to depths exceeding 3 km, and accumulations up to 2.5 km thick on the rift shoulders account for most of the highland areas near the equator. The extent to which pre-existing topography controlled the spreads of lavas and ignimbrites is frequently underestimated.


Rift Valley Fault Scarp Quaternary Volcanism East African Rift System Kenya Rift 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. J. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of LancasterEngland

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