Friday, September 12, 2014

Africa Continent Brief Geographical Overview

Africa is the second largest continent in the world after Asia. 

It is the second most populous continent, accounting for about 12% of the total population of the world. 

From Asia, it is connected by Sinai Isthamus and separated by Red Sea.

From Europe, it is separated by the Strait of Gibraltar.

The highest point in Africa is Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895m) and lowest point is Lake Djibuti (-168m).

Nile, the longest river of the world, flows from south to north in Africa.

Structure of Africa was dramatically influenced by the break up of the supercontinent Gondwanaland about 160 million year ago and more recently, rifting and hot spot activity.
The Atlas Mountains in the north were formed by convergence of the African and Eurasian Plates.

Oasis are found in desert areas such as the Sahara.

The Zambezi River drops 360ft (110m) over the Victoria Falls into a zig-zag gorge.

The climates of Africa range from Mediterranean to Arid, dry Savannah and humid Equatorial.

The winds of the Sahara export millions of tones of dust a year both northwards to eastwards.

Savannah grasslands run in a best across Africa, limited rainfall inhibits tree growth.

The hot equatorial basin of the Congo River receives over 48 inches (1200mm) of rainfall per year.

South Africa has largest concentration of railway in Africa. Over 32,000km of route have been built since 1870.

Surrounded by desert, the fertile flood plain of Nile Valley and Delta have been extensively irrigated, farmed, and settled since 3000 BC.

One Africa’s most serious environmental problem occur in marginal area such as the Sahel where scrub and forest clearance, often for cooking fuel, combined with overgrazing, are causing desertification.

The Grang Erg Occidental is one of Algeria’s great Saharan Sand Seas.

The Atlas Mountain run from Morocco to Tunisia, covering more than 1931km. The northern Tell Atlas are well watered, with forested slope, the drier southern High Atlas have the highest peaks, such as ‘Jbel Toubkal’ 4165m.

The Sahara is the largest hot desert on the Earth, covering nearly one third of Africa.

Lake Chad is the remnant of an inland sea, which once occupied much of the surrounding basin.

Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake, is the largest of series of linear ‘ribbon’ lake occupying trench within the Great Rift Valley.

The Kalahari Desert is the largest continuous sand surface in the world, Iron oxide gives a distinctive red colour to the windblown sand, which, in eastern areas covers the bedrock by over 60m.

North America is the world’s third largest continent with a total area of 24,238,000 Sq. km including Greenland and the Caribbean Islands.

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