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Discuss the physiographic setting Africa


Discuss the physiographic setting Africa



The major geographic features of Africa include the coastal plains, the Atlas Mountains, the Ethiopian Highlands, and several deserts. The Sahara Desert, the third largest in the world, covers most of northern Africa, with an area of 9,400,000 square kilometers - about as large as the entire United States. In the south, the Kalahari Desert has similar conditions, though it is much smaller in comparison to the Sahara, at 900,000 square kilometers.

Africa can be divided into a number of geographic zones:
The coastal plains — often fringed seawards by mangrove swamps — never stretching far from the coast, apart from the lower courses of streams. Recent alluvial flats are found chiefly in the delta of the more important rivers. Elsewhere, the coastal lowlands merely form the lowest steps of the system of terraces that constitutes the ascent to the inner plateaus.

The Atlas range — orthographically distinct from the rest of the continent, being unconnected with and separated from the south by a depressed and desert area (the Sahara).

Plateau region
Much of Africa is covered by plateaus. These are flat or gently rolling areas of land that are relatively high in elevation. Much of the southern and eastern parts of Africa are high plateaus. The east region has the highest elevations on the continent.
The high southern and eastern plateaus, rarely falling below 600 m (2,000 ft), have a mean elevation of about 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The South African Plateau, as far as about 12° S, is bounded east, west and south by bands of high ground which fall steeply to the coasts. On this account South Africa has a general resemblance to an inverted saucer. Due south the plateau rim is formed by three parallel steps with level ground between them. The largest of these level areas, the Great Karoo, is a dry, barren region, and a large tract of the plateau proper is of a still more arid character and is known as the Kalahari Desert.
The South African Plateau is connected towards East African plateau, with probably a slightly greater average elevation, and marked by some distinct features. It is formed by a widening out of the eastern axis of high ground, which becomes subdivided into a number of zones running north and south and consisting in turn of ranges, tablelands and depressions. The most striking feature is the existence of two great lines of depression, due largely to the subsidence of whole segments of the Earth's crust, the lowest parts of which are occupied by vast lakes. Towards the south the two lines converge and give place to one great valley (occupied by Lake Nyasa), the southern part of which is less distinctly due to rifting and subsidence than the rest of the system.

There are also deserts in Africa. The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest. It covers much of north Africa and is nearly as big as the United States. The area where the Sahara meets the savanna is called the Sahel. This area is hot and dry, getting only a few inches of rain a year.
There are also two smaller deserts in the southern region of Africa. The Namib Desert runs along the Atlantic coast from Angola through Namibia. Also, in the south, the Kalahari Desert includes parts of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

The area between the east and west coast highlands, which north of 17° N is mainly desert, is divided into separate basins by other bands of high ground, one of which runs nearly centrally through North Africa in a line corresponding roughly with the curved axis of the continent as a whole. The best marked of the basins so formed (the Congo basin) occupies a circular area bisected by the equator, once probably the site of an inland sea.
Running along the south of desert is the plains region known as the Sahel. The arid region, the Sahara — the largest desert in the world, covering 9,000,000 km2 (3,500,000 sq mi) — extends from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Though generally of slight elevation, it contains mountain ranges with peaks rising to 2,400 m (7,900 ft) Bordered N.W. by the Atlas range, to the northeast a rocky plateau separates it from the Mediterranean; this plateau gives place at the extreme east to the delta of the Nile.
That river (see below) pierces the desert without modifying its character. The Atlas range, the northwesterly part of the continent, between its seaward and landward heights encloses elevated steppes in places 160 km (99 mi) broad. From the inner slopes of the plateau numerous wadis take a direction towards the Sahara. The greater part of that now desert region is, indeed, furrowed by old water channels.
francis1897 answered the question on January 11, 2023 at 12:26

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