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:: CHAD GEOGRAPHY ::
Total area: +/- 1284000 km2.
Saharan area: +/- 700000 km2 (54%).
Lowest point: 160 meters (Djourab depression).
Highest point: 3415 meters (Emi Koussi).
In similarity with Sudan, Chad has a desertic climate in the northern half, while the Sahel and the green savannah occupy the southern half. Chad is home of the highest mountains of the Sahara, located in the Tibesti massif. The Tibesti and Ennedi massifs are nearly the only mountainous areas in the country, while the rest is a pure plain that gets lower in the western part, forming the chadian basin.
Lake Chad is today severely affected by the dry climate and the desert sands, elements that decreased its size, a size that is also very variable. In the ancient period known as Neolithic Subpluvial this area was much wetter than today and this lake was much bigger. In those times the inundation of the chadian basin probably included the BodĂ©lĂ© depression, which means that Lake Chad could have been bigger than the present Caspian Sea.
The Tibesti massif is the home of several volcanoes, as the Emi Koussi, highest mountain in the Sahara (left image) and the Tarso Tousside (right image). The volcanic calderas often contain salt deposits.
The Tibesti massif occupies an area of about 115000 km2 in north-western Chad and southern Libya. The Tibesti is one of the most remote and dangerous places in the world; only a few thousand people inhabit these mountains whose passes were mined during the conflicts happened there. The toubou people live there in some small oases such as Zouar, Bardai and Aozou.
The Ennedi massif covers a surface of about 35000 km2 in the north-eastern region. Its latitude reaches the Sahel region; while the northern rocks of the Ennedi are surrounded by sand dunes the southern ones emerge from a mere steppe land that in many places is covered with a poor grass. In fact, the southern area of the Ennedi is relatively fertile, with groves of acacias growing along the enneris (dried rivers), as the following satellite images show.
The Ennedi contains many interesting rock formations, included in these many arches, as the huge Aloba arch located in the southern region. The two upper images below show a satellite view and a photo of this arch that reaches 120 meters high.
The BodĂ©lĂ© depression is located in the blow path of the harmattan wind that has formed the mega-yardangs located between Tibesti and Ennedi. The wind is directed and accelerated when crossing between these two massifs and draws the dust from the bottom of the depression, reaching part of this dust the rainforests of southern and central America. The moderate amount of desert dust deposited in the very far lands of other continents serve as a fertilizer, but in return, the excessive amount of sand deposited in the nearby areas damage the vegetation and help to expand the desert boundaries.
The wind transports about 40 millions of tons of dust annually from the Sahara to the Amazon rainforest. It is believed that about half of this saharan dust comes from the BodĂ©lĂ©/Djurab area. The satellite views below show the white dust of the depression at rest (left image) and when the wind draws it (right image), being its first stop the suffering Kanem region and Lake Chad.
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|:: Sahara Territory by Sakhal 2011-2014 ::|