Rift zone

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Aerial view of the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawai`i. Dark lava flows spread away from the rift zone.
A rift zone is an elongated system of crustal fractures associated with an area that has undergone extension (ground has spread apart). On the great shield volcanoes in Hawai`i, a rift zone consists of many different features associated with the rise and eruption of magma from narrow dikes, including eruptive fissures, cinder and spatter cones, spatter ramparts, pit craters, lava flows, ground cracks, and normal faults.[1]


  1. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/Pglossary/RiftZone.html