Physical Geography - Wando High School

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Transcript Physical Geography - Wando High School

Unit 6: South of the Sahara
The Transition Zone lies south of the Sahara,
where the land undergoes a radical change in
The Sahel, or the Arabic word for shore, marks
the border between the Sahara desert and the
tropical savanna of Equatorial Africa.
The topography is mainly flat with a series of
The steppe region of the Sahel is one of the
largest pastoral zones in the world.
Water Systems
Ghana’s Lake Volta, made by damming the Volta
River, has been a benefit, or gain, for irrigation, but
also a detriment to the river’s ecology.
The Niger River is the main artery of western Africa,
important to agriculture and transportation, with
inland deltas, or areas where the river slows down
and spreads out into smaller channels.
Two major tributaries of the Nile River, the Blue and
White Nile, flow through the area and provide
hydroelectric power to some areas in the region.
Climates, Biomes, and Resources
The hot seasons occur in the region with one rainy
season, but the location and amount of rainfall is
In many areas, rainfall is the only water source.
A vicious cycle of soil erosion, insufficient water,
deforestation, and drought have plagued the area for
decades, leading to famines.
This biome is home to a diverse population of flora,
fauna, and wild animals.
Few natural resources exist in the region.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, and
East Africa is a diverse landscape of different
plains, volcanic mountains, and plateaus cut by
a large valley and marked by many rivers and
The Great Rift Valley cuts through much of East
Africa forming two branches, both of which lie
within a set of fault lines.
Transportation via water is of great economic
importance to the area, such as Eritrea’s access
to the Red Sea and Kenya and Tanzania’s access
to the Indian Ocean.
Water Systems
East Africa’s many lakes and rivers are used for
hydroelectric power, fishing, and transportation
and support tourism, agriculture, and natural
Lake Victoria, one of the largest freshwater lakes
in the world, lies at the headwaters of the White
Nile River and is surrounded by rich soil that has
encouraged human settlement.
Lake Tanganyika, one of the deepest freshwater
lakes in the world, offers abundant fishing and also
supports large populations.
Climates, Biomes, and Resources
Covering a wide range of latitudes and
elevations, East Africa consists of a diverse
set of climates and biomes.
The savanna, a tropical grassland with
scattered trees, has alternating wet and dry
seasons, with the Serengeti Plain making a
home for millions of animals.
Mining and agriculture contribute to the
area’s economy.
Sengal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leione,
Liberia, Cote D’ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin,
Nigeria, Cape Verde
West Africa has a long coastline along the
Atlantic Ocean, with the northern part of the
subregion extending into the Transition Zone.
Rainforests that once covered much of the coast
have been greatly reduced by agriculture and
Low plains, sandy soil, and grasslands cover
much of inland West Africa, while the mountains
behind the coastal plains give way to highlands
covered with savannah and rainforest.
Water Systems
Lagoons and mangrove swamps provide food
and shelter for fish and fowl and provide an
important source of food and timber for coastal
The Atlantic Ocean offers a bounty of fish used
both for food and as commercial products.
Significant lakes and rivers, like Lake Volta and
the Volta River, supply the subregion with
freshwater and hydroelectric power, while also
benefiting agriculture and tourism.
Climates, Biomes, and Resources
With its latitudinal climate pattern, the environment
changes dramatically from north to south, with
desert in the north giving way to savannah, then
tropical forest, in the south.
The grassy savannah is home to many mammals,
while the tropical wet forests are full of trees and
produce spices, nuts, and legumes.
Many minerals are extracted in the subregion,
including conflict diamonds, or diamonds that are
mined in war-torn areas and used to finance war.
Cameroon, Central African Republic, South Sudan,
Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
Sao Tome & Principe
Equatorial Africa, or the Heart of Africa, is a
tropical subregion located on and near the
Equator in Central Africa.
Covered by thick rain forest, it is home to
Africa’s most famous and colorful wildlife.
A basin is an area that is drained by a river and
its tributaries, and the Congo Basin is the
second-largest river basin on Earth.
Water Systems
Five of Equatorial Africa’s countries border the
Gulf of Guinea, making fishing important in all of
these nations.
The Congo River and its many tributaries form a
large network of navigable highways, although
some of these routes have rapids and waterfalls
that block boat traffic.
Lake Tanganyika, the second-largest and seconddeepest lake in the world, acts as a major food
source and transportation route.
Climates, Biomes, and Resources
A region of high temperatures and tropical climates,
most of the subregion has a tropical rain forest climate.
The highland areas surrounding the Congo Basin
experience montane, or highland, climates.
The complex biome of the rain forest is home to a wide
variety of animal and insect life.
The subregion’s mineral resources are abundant.
Although water is a major natural resource, controlling
it for practical purposes is difficult.
Angola, Cabinda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho,
Swaziland, Madagascar
Southern Africa consists of ten mainland
countries and four island countries.
Most of Southern Africa sits at a high altitude,
or height above sea level.
The Great Escarpment, a long cliff that
separates two different altitudes, forms a nearly
unbroken U-shape, starting from the west coast
and curving northeast.
The land inside the Great Escarpment is mostly
hills and plateaus.
Water Systems
Several rivers run through the area, the
Okavango, the Orange, and the Zambezi
Rivers, although none are fully navigable.
Although the rivers are not useful for
transportation, they are useful for generating
The rivers support aquatic wildlife such as
hippopotamuses and crocodiles.
Climates, Biomes, and Resources
The coastal areas of Southern Africa have marine
climates that are greatly affected by the open
The Cape of Good Hope and surrounding areas
have a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry
summers and cool, rainy winters.
The northern and eastern regions are covered by
the savanna, vast grasslands dotted with small
trees, which is home to the Big Five: lions,
leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo, and