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North Africa. Preview Section 1: Natural Environments Section 2: History and Culture Section 3: The Region Today Chapter Wrap-Up. Section 1: Natural Environments. Read to Discover What landform regions are found in North Africa? What factors influence the region’s climates?

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north africa

North Africa


Section 1:Natural Environments

Section 2:History and Culture

Section 3:The Region Today

Chapter Wrap-Up

section 1 natural environments
Section 1: Natural Environments

Read to Discover

  • What landform regions are found in North Africa?
  • What factors influence the region’s climates?
  • What natural resources does the region have?
section 1 natural environments1
Section 1: Natural Environments

Landforms and Rivers

  • Coastal plains along Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean
  • Atlas Mountains parallel to the coast
  • The Sahara—Ergs (sand areas), regs (gravel plains), depressions (quicksand, salt marshes, dry lakebeds), wadis (dry streambeds)
  • Nile River

Section 1: Natural Environments


What factors affect the climate of North Africa?


Factors Affecting North African Climate

Section 1: Natural Environments



• Atlas Mountains

• Rain shadow

• Harmattan

• Arid climate

• Subtropical high-pressure system

• Sandstorms

• Mediterranean climate

• Coastline

section 1 natural environments2
Section 1: Natural Environments

Climate Factors

  • Coastal Zone—Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and mild rainy winters
  • Sub-tropical high pressure keeps region dry
  • Rain shadow caused by Atlas Mountains contributes to dryness
  • Hot dry wind (harmattan) sweeps south across Sahara causing violent sandstorms
section 1 natural environments3
Section 1: Natural Environments
  • Oil and natural gas—Especially in Libya
  • Minerals—Iron ore, lead, phosphates, zinc
  • Fishing off Moroccan coast
  • Water from irrigation and oases—Produces grapes, olives, dates, grains, vegetables
  • Nile Delta—Rich farmland, cotton and rice

Natural Resources

section 2 history and culture
Section 2: History and Culture

Read to Discover

  • What peoples have settled in and ruled North Africa?
  • What are the people and culture of the region like today?
section 2 history and culture1
Section 2: History and Culture
  • Egyptian civilization arose along the Nile around 3000 B.C.
  • Phoenicians established trade colonies like Carthage by 800 B.C.
  • Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 332 B.C.
  • Roman Empire controlled the area after 146 B.C.
  • Vandals set up a kingdom in Libya in the A.D. 400s.

Settlers and Rulers

section 2 history and culture2
Section 2: History and Culture
  • The Byzantine Empire claimed North Africa in A.D. 500s.
  • Arab Muslims conquered the region in 600s.
  • Ottoman Turks ruled from 1500s to late 1800s.
  • Europeans came in 1800s—French, Spanish, Italians, British.
  • Independence came after World War II.

Settlers and Rulers (continued)


Section 2: History and Culture


What languages, religions, peoples, and types of clothing are found in North Africa?



Mostly Arab and Arab-Berber, some Bedouins


Mostly Muslim, some Christians and Jews

North African Culture


Mostly Arabic, also Berber, French, Italian, English


Caftans, hooded robes, gallibiya, women mostly covered

Section 2: History and Culture

section 3 the region today
Section 3: The Region Today

Read to Discover

  • What are the economies and cities of North Africa like?
  • What challenges do the people there face?
section 3 the region today1
Section 3: The Region Today

Economic Activities

  • Issues typical of developing countries—Government spending, inflation, trade
  • Oil and natural gas—Key in several countries
  • Agriculture also important
  • Tourism—Especially important in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Unemployment causes migration
section 3 the region today2
Section 3: The Region Today
  • Largest cities are Casablanca and the capitals: Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat
  • Mix of modern and traditional architecture
  • Becoming crowded with population growth and migration from rural areas
  • Older cores surrounded by rings of crowded slums
  • Lack of housing; people living in tents, boats, tombs



Section 3: The Region Today


What political and environmental issues currently exist in North Africa?


Issues in North Africa

Section 3: The Region Today



Pollution from oil refining

Polluted water supplies

Fertilizer pollution in the Nile

Nile Delta shrinking


Political unrest

Clashes between government and religious groups

Civil war in Algeria

Clashes between Libyan government and United States


Chapter Wrap-UpUnderstanding the Main Ideas

  • How have wind and water shaped important physical features of the Sahara?
  • Why are plants and animals in Egypt limited mostly to areas along the Nile Valley and Delta?
  • Which ethnic group makes up the majority of North Africa’s population? When did this ethnic group first move into North Africa?
  • What is the main religion of North Africa? What are two minority religions there?
  • Why have many people in the region left to find work elsewhere? What has made the problem worse?