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chapter 21 slides: GEO

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  1. 1. Southwest Asia Physical Geography
  2. 2. Section 1: Landformsand Resources  1967 Syria and Israel fought over control of the Golan Heights - overlooks Jordan River and Sea of Galilee - strategic landform for water supply  Landforms - range from green coastal plains to snow-peaked mountains - not what people always think  Region is land bridge connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe; mountains are still growing because of tectonic plates - collisions of plates  Peninsulas and waterways  Arabian peninsula - separated from Africa by Red Sea and from Asia by Persian Gulf  Anatolian peninsula - part of Turkey, marks beginning of Asian continent  Peninsulas are strategic for waterways - Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Black Sea, Bosporus Strait, Dardenelles Strait, Straits of Hormuz - trade with surrounding regions, transporting oil
  3. 3.  Plains and Highlands  Arabian peninsula is covered by plains; barren land with wadis (riverbeds dry except for during wet season); people live nomadic lives  Iran is plateau surrounded by mountains - highlands, land is stony, salty, sandy desert; much of Anatolian peninsula is plateau as well.  Mountains  Rugged mountains divide the land and countries - create isolation  Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan - landlocked and mountainous country - isolation  Zagros Mountains - western Iran  Elburz Mountains - south of Caspian Sea  Taurus Mountains - separate Turkey from rest of Southwest Asia  Water Bodies  Almost completely surrounded by bodies of water  Vital for trade and access to region and rest of world  Tigris, Euphrates - Fertile Crescent - flow through Turkey, Syria, Iraq; empty into Persian Gulf  Jordan River - flow from mountains of Lebanon; natural boundary between Israel and Jordan; flows into salty Dead Sea  The Dead Sea is so salty only bacteria can live there; 1,349 feet below sea level - lowest place on Earth
  4. 4.  Resources of region:  1/2 of world’s oil reserves found in Southwest Asia  Valuable resource: water; water is plentiful in Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, scarce in other places  Coal, metallic, copper, potash, phosphates - scattered and not very large
  5. 5. Section 2: Climateand Vegetation  Arid Lands  Southwest Asia extremely arid  Most areas less than 18 inches of precipitation a year  Most rivers do not flow all year long  Irrigation key to produce efficient farmland  Also, Mediterranean climate, ranges of mountains and plateaus  Deserts Limit Movement  Rub al-Khali - most famous desert - Empty Quarter - place where no one comes out (size of Texas); summer temperatures - 150 degree F  An-Nafud Desert - occasional oasis - vegetation found because of water (underground springs)  Syrian Desert - north from An-Nafud  Negev Desert - occupies parts of Israel  Salt Deserts - because of rain shadow of mountain ranges; high mountains block rain, dry winds increase evaporation, chemical salts remain  Dasht-e Kavir and the Dasht-e Lut - lands are salt crusted, surrounded by quick sand-like salt marshes, extremely hot
  6. 6.  Semiarid Lands  On edges of deserts - semiarid climate - support grass, shrubs - cotton and wheat can be grown  Good pasture for animals - in Turkey - goats  Coast Lands  Mediterranean coast across Turkey = hot summers and rainy winters; heavily populated areas
  7. 7. Section 3: Human-Environment Interaction  For real, for real: In ‘77 Saudi prince Muhammad ibn Faisal tried to buy icebergs from Antarctica…why? What might this suggest about the needs of the area?  Would you exchange water for oil? Oil is abundant in the region, however, water is not. How does this affect the people, the life, the cultures of this area?  Dams and Irrigation Systems  Turkey is building man-made lake on Euphrates River - why might this be controversial?  Israel’s National Water Carrier project carries water from northern part to central and southern Israel (comes from Golan Heights, Jordan River, Sea of Galilee  Drip Irrigation: slowly drips water just above ground to conserve water (reduce evaporation)  Desalinization: removal of salt from ocean water (still may be too salty for irrigation)  Fossil water: pumped from underground aquifers  Qanat: a system of underground brick-lined tunnels (collects runoff water from mountains)  Noria: waterwheel run by the flow of water or by animal power
  8. 8.  Oil: 1/2 of all petroleum reserves in the world; huge for economy  Oil and natural gas deposits formed millions of years ago when sea covered area of Southwest Asia; plants and animals lived and died in waters; remains sank, mingled with mud and sand - formed basis of oil and gas  Oil and natural gas are trapped in rocks - oil must be extracted from layers of rock - not discovered in some parts until 1920s and 30s  Exploration during late 1800s until WWII and then again after WWII  Petroleum not processed is called crude oil; must be pumped from ground to refinery, which converts oil into useful products; pipelines transport crude oil; see processing petroleum on page 498  Placement of pipelines depends on ports and access to worldwide markets; most along Persian Gulf  Risks with transporting oil: oil spills (1991 - largest ever)