Rifts in Sudan and Kenya

The White Nile rift is one of several rifts in central Sudan running in a NW direction and terminating in the Central African Shear Zone. The rift is a Cretaceous/Tertiary structure that has similar tectonic characteristics to the Southern Sudan Rift, Blue Nile rift and Atbara rift.[1] These rifts follow similar trends, and terminate in a line at their northwestern ends. Probably this line is an extension of the Central African Shear Zone through the Sudan.[2]

The rift basin is formed by the junction of the Umm Rubaba grabens, which extends in a NW direction, and the White Nile graben, which extends in a N to NW direction.[3] The basin is filled with sediments and igneous rocks, and is a target for oil and gas exploration.[4] The rift basins appear to be hydrologically closed, with no lateral transfer of water.[5] One theory is that the current White Nile may have developed no more than 12,500 years ago when the basins filled and the rivers became connected.[6]


  1. ^ S.E. Browne, J.D. Fairhead and I.I. Mohamed (10 March 1985). "Gravity study of the White Nile Rift, Sudan, and its regional tectonic setting". Tectonophysics. 113 (1–2): 123–137. Bibcode:1985Tectp.113..123B. doi:10.1016/0040-1951(85)90113-1.
  2. ^ Robert Bowen, Ulrich Jux (1987). Afro-Arabian geology: a kinematic view. Springer. p. 143. ISBN 0-412-29700-0.
  3. ^ Richard C. Selley (1997). African basins. Elsevier. p. 115. ISBN 0-444-82571-1.
  4. ^ "Rocks for crops: Sudan" (PDF). University of Guelph. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  5. ^ O. A. E. Abdalla. "Evapotranspiration computed by Darcy's Law: Sudan case study" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  6. ^ Terje Tvedt (2004). The Nile: an annotated bibliography. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1-86064-879-7.