North Africa, Southwest Asia, and Central Asia Physical Geography Mr. Marston Dominion Christian High School Fall 2009
Chapter Objectives • 1. Major landforms and natural resources • 2. Climate and Vegetation
Maghreb and the Middle East PersiaGulf Red Sea Arabian Sea Gulf of Aden
Divisions • 1. Maghreb: area of North Africa between the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. • Maghreb means “western” in Arabic. • The Countries have similar • Climates • Landforms • Populations • Economies • history
Maghreb Union • The joining together of the North African countries in 1989. To: Promote economic cooperation Economic integration Morocco Algeria Tunisia Libya Mauritania
Divisions II • 2. Middle East • Arabian Peninsula • Iran and Turkey 3. Central Asia
Key Geographic Points • Bosporus Strait: separates Asia and Europe • Dead Sea: forms Israeli-Jordanian border • Caspian Sea: largest inland body of water on earth • Aral Sea: once the 4th largest inland sea, it is now drying up.
Floating in the Dead Sea: Aaaaahhh. High Salt content contributes to buoyancy.
Caspian Sea: largest lake on earth. Oil and gas and sturgeon.
Aral Sea Shrinkage • Shrinkage
Nile River Delta • 90% of Egypt’s people live in Nile River Delta • They live on 3% of Egypt’s land • Aswan High Dam • Controls river flow • Reduces flooding • Alluvial soil: rich soil made up of sand and mud deposited by moving water.
Mesopotamia: “The land between two rivers” • Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq • The two rivers join to form the Shatt al Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf
Wadis • Wadis: streambeds that remain dry until a heavy rain and often become dangerous after a heavy rain.
Plains, Plateaus, and Mountains • Coastal plains: fertile plains along the Mediterranean Sea (Moroccan and Algerian coasts and along the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf) • Highlands: Atlas Mountains: 50% of Moroccan people engage in agriculture and produce, barley, oats, and wheat) Hejaz: mountain range on western coast of Arabian Peninsula Asir: area more agriculturally productive on Arabian peninsula because it gets more rainfall than the Hejaz
Other mountain ranges • Pontic (Turkey • Taurus (Turkey) • Caucasus • Zagros: southern Iran
Lowlands • Kums: dune covered deserts of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. • Garagum (black sand) • Qizilqum (red sand)
Earthquakes • African, Arabian, and Eurasian plates come together in the region. • As they clash: • Build mountains • Shift landmasses • Cause earthquakes Turkey: experiences regular earthquakes
Natural Resources • Petroleum: 70% of world’s oil reserves • Natural Gas: 33% of natural gas • Other: • Sulfate: (Paperboard, glass, detergents) • Phosphates: used in fertilizers • Chromium, gold, lead, manganese, and zinc • Iron ore
Potential for diversification • UAE: banking, information technology, and tourism. • Libya: invested in infrastructure, agriculture, and fisheries.
Climate and Vegetation Water scarcity defines the region’s climates Climates: Desert: predominates Steppe Mediterranean Highland
Sahara • Largest desert in the world • 3.5 million square miles • Desert:average less than 10 inches of rain per year • Sand covers less than 10% of the Sahara (barren rock, mountains, and desert pavement cover the most) • Desert encompasses about 50% of the lands in North Africa, Southwest Asia, an Central Asia.
Weather Patterns in the Desert • Central Asia/northern Sahara: cold winters with freezing temperatures • Southern Sahara/Arabia: winters are milder • Summers are long and hot. • Ergs: Sand dune covered areas • Regs: stony plains covered with rocky gravel called “desert pavement” • Hamada: flat, sandstone plateau
Rub al Khali • “Empty Quarter” • Located on the Arabian Peninsula • Some vegetation grows: cacti and drought resistant shrubs.
Steppe Climate • Second largest climate in the region of North Africa, Central Asia, and Southwest Asia • Steppe borders the Sahara to the north and runs from Turkey to eastern Kazakhstan • Precipitation averages less than 14 inches per year.
Pastoralism: the raising and grazing of livestock is a way of life for people in the steppes. • Bedouin Pastoralists
Climatic Variations • Mediterranean Climate zones: • Cool, rainy winters alternate with hot, dry summers. • Ideal for tourism • Export citrus fruits, olives and grapes to Europe and North America