Geog. of africa.ppt shortened

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  • 1. Africa Physical Geography
  • 2. The Four Regions of Africa • Africa can be divided into four regions: (1) North; (2) West; (3) East; and (4) Central and Southern.
  • 3. • North Africa’s physical features include rocky mountains and the Sahara, the world’s largest desert. Sahara
  • 4. • West Africa is Africa’s most populated region; its grasslands provide good soil for farming.
  • 5. • East Africa is marked by mountains, hills, and plateaus, plateaus large raised areas of mostly level land.
  • 6. • Central and Southern Africa has grasslands, rain forests, mountains, swamps, and deserts, including the Namib and the Kalahari. Kalahari
  • 7. Africa’s Major Landforms • Africa is called the “plateau continent” because of its high elevation—the height of land above sea level. • Each of Africa’s regions has mountains. The highest are in East Africa. • There, the continent’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, rises to a height of more than 19,000 feet.
  • 8. • Coastal plains lie along much Africa’s coastline. In some places, the plains end in an escarpment, or steep cliff. • The 4,000-mile-long Great Rift Valley in East Africa was formed millions of years ago as continents pulled apart. • A rift is a deep trench. • Major lakes are in or near the Great Rift Valley.
  • 9. The Great Rift Valley The Great Rift Valley is so large that more than 30 Grand Canyons could fit inside it.
  • 10. Africa’s Rivers • The Nile: The world’s longest river, it runs more than 4,000 miles. • From its two sources, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, it flows north into the Mediterranean Sea. • Its floods deposit silt, bits of rock and soil that make the land fertile, or nourishing, to plants. • The Aswan High Dam controls flooding and provides electric power from the rushing water.
  • 11. • The Congo: Africa’s second-longest Congo river runs through Central Africa into the Atlantic Ocean, fed by tributaries, small rivers and streams that flow into a larger river. • The Niger: Africa’s third-longest river Niger begins in Guinea, running about 2,600 miles and ending in the Gulf of Guinea. • The Zambezi: Africa’s fourth-longest Zambezi river is about 2,200 miles long and runs through six countries in Southern Africa.
  • 12. Climate and Vegetation • What types of climates and vegetation are found in Africa? • How do climate and vegetation affect how Africans make a living?
  • 13. What Influences Climate? • The climate in most of Africa is warm because the continent lies along the Equator. • The seasons above the Equator are the opposite of those below the Equator.
  • 14. • Countries with higher elevation, such as Ethiopia, tend to have a cooler, moister climate than those at a low elevation.
  • 15. • Lower countries such as Somalia tend to be hot and dry.
  • 16. • Their farmers must irrigate, or artificially water, their crops. • Or they must farm near an oasis, a place with springs and underground water. • Rainfall in Africa varies greatly, from more than 100 inches per year to almost no rain.
  • 17. • Between the Sahara and the savanna is a region called the Sahel, which is hot and dry. • Nomads are people who move around to various places to make a living. • Nomadic traders, hunters, and herders live in the Sahara.
  • 18. Building Good Health • Climate affects the health of people and livestock throughout Africa. • The moisture in the rain forest breeds disease-carrying insects.
  • 19. • The tsetse fly is found in nearly one fifth of Africa. • The bite of the tsetse fly kills cattle and causes humans to get sleeping sickness. • Herders in various countries use poisons and traps to try to control the spread of the tsetse fly.
  • 20. Agricultural Resources • Much of Africa’s land is used for subsistence farming, or raising crops to support one’s own family. • Some subsistence farmers also grow a few crops to sell or trade.
  • 21. • Crops raised to be sold are called cash crops. • African cash crops include coffee, cacao, and tea. • When too much land is used for cash crops and those crops fail, food shortages can occur.