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Physical Features of North Africa and Southwest Asia

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Physical Geography
North Africa and Southwest Asia
В©2012, TESCCC
World Geography Unit 8, Lesson 1
Factors of Settlement
• What factors influence where people live
within a certain area?
• Generate a list of ideas on the board or using
an overhead projector (data projector).
• Discuss the answers that are generated by
• Now, let’s look at the factors.
В©2012, TESCCC
Factors of Settlement
• Physical Factors- most settlements cluster near
bodies of water such as rivers and gulfs. People
also settle in areas that have access to fresh
water. Low-lying areas near fertile soil is attracts
settlement. Temperate and mild climate regions
are also regions of large settlement.
• Human Factors- people settle in areas where they
have access to natural resources, economic
activities, and along transportation routes.
В©2012, TESCCC
How do geographers study human
• A number of tools are available for
geographers to study settlement patterns.
These include
• Maps (atlas)
• Government data (charts, graphs, reports)
В©2012, TESCCC
So where were the first
settlements located in North Africa
and Southwest Asia?
• Fertile Crescent (Tigris and Euphrates River
Valley) (Mesopotamia)
• Nile River Valley
В©2012, TESCCC
• The earliest cities have been
uncovered in the Tigris and
Euphrates River valleys.
About 3500 B.C. civilizations
began here due to the rich
soil created by the rivers.
• Mesopotamia is the land
that is located between the
two rivers.
В©2012, TESCCC
Nile River Valley
• The annual flooding of the river
brought nutrients to the soil and
allowed farmers to grow crops in
• Farmers were able to predict the
time of the floods and farming
became more reliable.
• People relied less on nomadic ways
of life.
• Farmers learned to retain water for
use later in the year by developing
an irrigation system.
В©2012, TESCCC
The Nile Delta at Night
В©2012, TESCCC
Persian Gulf
• The Persian Gulf is located between Iran and the Arabian
Peninsula. It is an extension of the Indian Ocean.
• The discovery of oil, transformed the region to one of
desolation to one of commercial wealth as the demand for
oil globally exploded.
В©2012, TESCCC
Then…. Now
Dubai in the mid
20th century
В©2012, TESCCC
Dubai today
• The largest desert in the world.
• It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red
• Temperatures can rise to over 130 degrees.
• The desert consists of sand, mountains, gravel,
and rock formations.
• Under ground water supplies-aquifers- can
come to the surface. They can create an oasis.
• In an oasis wildlife and vegetation can survive.
В©2012, TESCCC
• Sahel means shore of the desert.
• The Sahel is a narrow band of dry grassland that runs east
to west along the edge of the Sahara. It receives very little
• People use the Sahel for farming and herding.
• The Sahara has spread into the Sahel leading to
В©2012, TESCCC
Population Distribution
• The majority of the population in this realm
lives not in the dry arid regions, but around
water sources.
• The Nile
• Mediterranean Sea
• Euphrates and Tigris Basin
• Lower mountain slopes of Iran, south of the
Caspian Sea
В©2012, TESCCC
Water- A Renewable or Finite
• Water is critical for life, food production,
and industrial processes.
• 9 of of the 14 Southwest Asian states face
water shortage conditions. The most
concentrated region of water scarcity in
the world.
• The North African states all have rates of
natural increase above 2.0%, increasing
the stress on water sources.
В©2012, TESCCC
Other Noteable Physical Features
of North Africa and Southwest Asia
Atlas Mountains
Nubian Desert
Red Sea
Gulf of Aden
Strait of Hormuz
Black Sea
Caspian Sea
В©2012, TESCCC
• Dead Sea
• Arabian Sea
• Rub al Khali (Empty
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