The goddess was typically portrayed as a woman who wears on her head a vase of water . Many times she is shown as a woman whose hands and feet touch the ground so that her body forms a semi-circle. As such she represents the heavens. Her arms and legs represent the four pillars on which the sky rests. She is held up by her father Shu (the god of the air). Her husband Geb lies on the ground reclining on one elbow and his knees in the air. In this position he depicts the hills and valleys of the land. It was said that when Shu raised Nut (the sky) above Geb (the earth) he brought an end to chaos and if he ever left this position, chaos would return.
Salama suggested that during the Paleogene and Neogene Periods (66 million to million years ago) a series of separate closed continental basins each occupied one of the major parts of the Sudanese Rift System: Mellut rift , White Nile rift , Blue Nile rift , Atbara rift and Sag El Naam rift .  The Mellut Rift Basin is nearly 12 kilometers ( mi) deep at its central part. This rift is possibly still active, with reported tectonic activity in its northern and southern boundaries. The Sudd swamps which form the central part of the basin may still be subsiding. The White Nile Rift System, although shallower than the Bahr el Arab rift , is about 9 kilometers ( mi) deep. Geophysical exploration of the Blue Nile Rift System estimated the depth of the sediments to be 5–9 kilometers (– mi). These basins were not interconnected until their subsidence ceased, and the rate of sediment deposition was enough to fill and connect them. The Egyptian Nile connected to the Sudanese Nile, which captures the Ethiopian and Equatorial headwaters during the current stages of tectonic activity in the Eastern, Central and Sudanese Rift Systems.  The connection of the different Niles occurred during cyclic wet periods. The River Atbara overflowed its closed basin during the wet periods that occurred about 100,000 to 120,000 years ago. The Blue Nile connected to the main Nile during the 70,000–80,000 years . wet period. The White Nile system in Bahr El Arab and White Nile Rifts remained a closed lake until the connection of the Victoria Nile to the main system some 12,500 years ago.