Shortly thereafter, unusually heavy rain fell for two days over a large area that extended from Dakar, Senegal to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Some areas in Western Sahara received more than 100 mm of rain whereas they normally receive about 1 mm of rain in a year. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery
Consequently, ecological conditions remained favourable for at least six months and allowed several successive generations of Desert Locust breeding. In such circumstances, locusts can increase very rapidly. By early 2004 the threat materialized as swarms of locusts started to form and move north into important agricultural areas in Morocco and Algeria, Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery
inflicting damage to crops. The collective fear, expressed by the FAO and news organizations covering the situation, was the potential destruction of a sizable portion of Africa's food supply if control operations could not be mounted quickly and successfully. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery
During the summer of 2004, large numbers of swarms from Northwest Africa invaded the Sahel in West Africa and quickly moved into crops. By then, the threat of a locust plague emerged, creating one of the most dangerous locust situations since 1989. As the year progressed, the swarms migrated over the continent causing devastation, Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery
and in November 2004 appeared in northern Egypt, Jordan and Israel for the first time in 50 years. One swarm in Morocco between Tarfaya and Tan-Tanwas 230 km long, at least 150 m wide, and contained an estimated 69 billion locusts, which were being used as a food resource by 33 different bird species (Ullman 2006). Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery
Swarms also invaded Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, southern Portugal, and Crete. Lack of rain and cold temperatures in the winter breeding area of Northwest Africa slowed down the development of the locusts and allowed the locust control agencies to stop the cycle in early 2005. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery
National teams in some 20 countries treated nearly 130,000 square kilometres by air and ground. The costs of fighting this upsurge have been estimated by the FAO to have exceeded US$400 million and harvest losses were valued at up to US$2.5 billion which had disastrous effects on the food security situation in West Africa. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery
However a combination of strict pest control measures and a good harvest allowed Africa to avoid a continent-wide food disaster. According to the FAO, while the overall food output for the affected Sahel region has declined, it is still within the range of five-year averages. Nevertheless, some countries lost significant portions of their crops to the locusts, particularly Mauritania, which lost as much as half of its harvest. Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery
The outbreak inspired several works of literature. In March 2007 Andersen Press published Sophie and the Locust Curse, a novel by British children's authorStephen Davies about the devastating impact of the 2004 locust swarm on communities in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
The Atlas Mountains (Berber: idurar n Watlas, Arabic: جبال الأطلس) is a mountain range across the north-western stretch of Africa extending about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak isToubkal, with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) in southwestern Morocco. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
The Atlas ranges separate theMediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. The population of the Atlas Mountains are mainlyBerbers. The terms for 'mountain' in some Berber languages are adrar and adras, believed to be cognate with thetoponym.
The mountains have been home to a number of plant and animal species unique in Africa, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
often more like those of Europe; many of them are endangered and some have already gone extinct. Examples include the Barbary Macaque, theAtlas Bear (Africa's only species of bear; now extinct), the Barbary Leopard, the Barbary stag, Barbary Sheep, theBarbary Lion (extinct in the wild), the Atlas Mountain Badger, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
the North African Elephant (extinct), the African Aurochs (extinct), Cuvier's Gazelle, the Northern Bald Ibis, Dippers, the Atlas mountain viper, the Atlas Cedar, theEuropean Black Pine, and the Algerian Oak. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
The basement rock of most of Africa was formed in thePrecambrian (approximately 4.54 - 0.57 billion years ago) and is much older than the Atlas mountains lying in Africa. The Atlas formed during three subsequent phases of Earth's history.
The first tectonic deformation phase involves only the Anti-Atlas, which was formed in the Paleozoic Era (~300 million years ago) as the result of continental collisions. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery
North America, Europe and Africa were connected millions of years ago.
The Anti-Atlas mountains are believed to have originally been formed as part of Alleghenian orogeny. These mountains were formed when Africa and America collided, and were once a chain rivaling today's Himalayas. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery
Today, the remains of this chain can be seen in the Fall line in the eastern United States. Some remnants can also be found in the later formed Appalachians in North America.
A second phase took place during the Mesozoic Era (before ~65 My) and consisted of a widespread extension of the Earth's crust thatrifted and separated the continents mentioned above. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery
This extension was responsible for the formation of many thick intracontinental sedimentary basins including the present Atlas. Most of the rocks forming the surface of the present High Atlas were deposited under the ocean at that time.
Finally, in the Tertiary Period (~65 million to ~1.8 million years ago), Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
the mountain chains that today comprise the Atlas were uplifted as the land masses of Europe and Africa collided at the southern end of the Iberian peninsula. Such convergent tectonic boundaries occur where two plates slide towards each other forming a subduction zoneSony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery
(if one plate moves underneath the other) and/or a continental collision (when the two plates contain continental crust). In the case of the Africa-Europe collision, it is clear that tectonic convergence is partially responsible for the formation of the High Atlas, as well as for the closure of the Strait of Gibraltar and the formation of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
However, there is a lack of evidence for the nature of the subduction in the Atlas region, or for the thickening of the Earth's crust generally associated with continental collisions. In fact, one of the most striking features of the Atlas to geologists is the relative small amount of crustal thickening and tectonic shortening despite the important altitude of the mountain range. Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
Recent studies suggest that deep processes rooted in the Earth's mantle may have contributed to the uplift of the High and Middle Atlas.
The Middle Atlas is a portion of the Atlas mountain range lying completely in Morocco. The Middle Atlas is the westernmost of three Atlas Mountains chains that define a large, plateaued basin extending eastward into Algeria. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
South of the Middle Atlas and separated by the Moulouya and Oum Er-Rbia rivers, the High Atlas stretches for 700 kilometres (430 mi) with a succession of peaks among which ten reach above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). North of the Middle Atlas and separated by the Sebou River, the Rifmountains are an extension of the Baetic Cordillera (Baetic mountains, which include the Sierra Nevada) in the south of Spain. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery
The High Atlas in central Morocco rises in the west at the Atlantic coast and stretches in an eastern direction to the Moroccan-Algerian border. At the Atlantic and to the southwest the range drops abruptly and makes an impressive transition to the coast and the Anti-Atlas range. To the north, in the direction ofMarrakech, the range descends less abruptly. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery
On the heights of Ouarzazate the massif is cut through by the Draa valley which opens southward. Here, water runs in some places, forming clear basins. It is mainly inhabited by Berber people, who live in small villages and cultivate the high plains of Ourika Valley. Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery
Near Barrage Cavagnac, there is a hydroelectric dam that has created the artificial lake Lalla Takerkoust. The lake serves also as a source for fish for the local fishermen.
The largest villages and towns of the area are Ouarzazate, Tahanaoute,Amizmiz, Imlil, Tin Mal and Ijoukak. Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery
The Anti-Atlas extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest of Morocco toward the northeast to the heights of Ouarzazate and further east to the city ofTafilalt (altogether a distance of approximately 500 kilometres / 310 miles). In the south it borders the Sahara. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery
The easternmost point of the anti-Atlas is the Djebel Sarhro mountains and its eastern boundary is set by sections of the High Atlas range.
The Saharan Atlas of Algeria is the eastern portion of the Atlas mountain range. Though not as high as the Grand Atlas, they are far more imposing than the Tell Atlas range that runs to the north of them and closer to the coast. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery
The highest peak in the range is the 2,236 m (7,336 ft) high Djebel Aissa. They mark the northern edge of the Sahara Desert. The mountains see some rainfall and are better suited to agriculture than the plateau region to the north. Today most of the population of the region are Berbers (Imazighen). Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
The Tell Atlas is a mountain chain over 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) in length, belonging to the Atlas mountain ranges and stretching from Morocco, through Algeria to Tunisia. It parallels the Mediterraneancoast. Together with the Saharan Atlas to the south it forms the northernmost of two more or less parallel ranges which gradually approach one another towards the east, Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery
merging in Eastern Algeria. At the western ends at the Middle Atlas range in Morocco. The area immediately to the south of this range is high plateau, with lakes in the wet season and salt flats in the dry.
The Middle Atlas (Amazigh: Atlas Anammas is part of the Atlas mountain range lying in Morocco, Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery
a mountainous country with more than 100,000 km² or 15% of its landmass rising above 2,000 metres. The Middle Atlas is the northernmost of three Atlas Mountains chains that define a large plateaued basin extending eastward into Algeria. South of the Middle Atlas and separated by the Moulouya and Um Er-Rbiâ rivers, Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery
the High Atlas stretches for 700 km with a succession of peaks among which ten reach above 4,000 metres. North of the Middle Atlas and separated by the Sebou River, the Rifmountains are an extension of the Baetic Cordillera (Baetic mountains, which include the Sierra Nevada) in the south of Spain. Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery
The Barbary Ape is native to the Middle Atlas, and chief populations occur only in restricted range in parts of Morocco and Algeria.
Snow persists in the Middle Atlas in the winter and can appear starting at 600 m above sea level. Its attractive rock coast is not very hospitable. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery
The basin of the Sebou is not only the primary transportation route between Atlantic Morocco and Mediterranean Morocco but is an area, watered by the Middle Atlas range, that constitutes the principal agricultural region of the country. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery
The Middle Atlas provinces cover 23,000 km² in area, and comprise 18% of the total mountainous surface of Morocco. The provinces of Khènifra, Ifrane, Boulmane, Sefrou, Khemisset, El Hajeb as well as parts of the provinces of Taza and of Beni Mellal lie in the Middle Atlas region. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery
Béni Mellal on the Oum Er-Rbia River is designated "the doorway to the Middle Atlas."
The Middle Atlas is a solid mountainous mass of 350 km in length in the North-East of Morocco with a unique charm. Its biodiversity, both in fauna and flora, make Middle Atlas a significant tourist destination. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery
The region is noted for occurrence of the endangered primate, Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus; this monkey prehistorically had a much wider distribution throughout northern Morocco.Wild boar and polecat are also found within the Middle Atlas Range.
Over the mountain slopes, extensive forests of cedar spread, intersected by deep valleys. Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery
Bordered by the rich Plaine du Saïs and the cities of Fes, Meknes andBeni Mellal, the mountainous reaches of the Middle Atlas are the stronghold of Berber tribes, speaking Tamazight and living at very low population densities.
he Middle Atlas is crossed by one of the principal access roads to the south Marocain, Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery
connecting Fes with Tafilalet. Located at the northeast of Atlas. The Middle Atlas ends in the east at Tazekka National Park, with a landscape replete with narrow canyons and caves. In the south of Sefrou, the forests of cedars, of Holm oak and of Cork Oak alternate with plates volcanoic stripped and small full of fish lakes. Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery
The jewel of the Middle Atlas is it Ifrane National Park, located in causse atlassic between Khenifra and Ifrane.
The Middle Atlas high points are Jbel Bou Naceur (3340 m), then Jbel Mouâsker (3277 m), in the North, and finally Jbel Bou Iblane (3172 m), which lies close to Immouzer Marmoucha. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery
Because of its elevation, the Middle Atlas experiences snow during the winter months and a cool climate during the summer. The town of Ifrane enjoys sufficient snow during the winter months that it provides accommodations quite rare in Africa: it is a ski resort.
High Atlas, also called the Grand Atlas Mountains (Arabic: الاطلس الكبير and French: Haut Atlas) is a mountain range in central Morocco in Northern Africa. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery
The High Atlas rises in the west at the Atlantic Ocean and stretches in an eastern direction to the Moroccan-Algerian border. At the Atlantic and to the southwest the range drops abruptly and makes an impressive transition to the coast and the Anti-Atlas range. To the north, in the direction of Marrakech, the range descends less abruptly. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery
The range includes Jbel Toubkal, which at 4,167 m is the highest in the range and lies in Toubkal National Park. The range serves as a weather system barrier in Morocco running east-west and separating the Sahara's climatic influences, which are particularly pronounced in the summer, Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery
from the more Mediterranean climate to the north, resulting in dramatic changes in temperature across the range. In the higher elevations in the range snow falls regularly, allowing winter sports. Snow lasts well into late spring in the High Atlas, mostly on the northern faces of the range.
The High Atlas forms the basins for a multiplicity of river systems. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
The majority of the year-round rivers flow to the north, providing the basis for the settlements there. A number of wadis and seasonal rivers terminate in the deserts to the south and plateaux to the east of the mountains.
In the west lies the oldest portion of the range. Its high point is the Jbel Toubkal at 4167 m, which is visible from the city of Marrakech. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery
Jbel Toubkal lies in the Toubkal national park, which was created in 1942. The massif consists of Jurassic and Cretaceous formations notched by deep erosion-carved valleys. This part of the range includes the Ourika Valley, which is the only location in the High Atlas where the endangered primate, theBarbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus, is found;Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery
however, this primate is also found in parts of the Middle Atlas and the Rif, as well as parts of Algeria. The Ourika Valley is also a location where a diverse flora was recorded as early as the 19th century.
A solid chalk mass morphologically dominated by tabular zones reaching an altitude of 2,500 m extends from Azilal to Ouarzazate. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
Here, the contrasting landscapes remind visitors of the Colorado, with its high plateaux, its gorges and box canyons, and its peaks sometimes splintered by erosion. Several peaks in this area exceed 4000 m, with Jbel Mgoun at 4068 m being the highest peak in this part of the High Atlas. The area is populated by Berbers. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery