Geography of Western Sahara

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Geography of Western Sahara
Westernsaharamap.png
Continent Africa
Region North Africa
Coordinates 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000Coordinates: 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000
Area Ranked 78th
 • Total 266,000 km2 (103,000 sq mi)
Coastline 1,110 km (690 mi)
Borders 2,046 km
(Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km)
Highest point unnamed elevation
805 m
Lowest point Sebjet Tah, -55 m[citation needed]
Satellite image of Western Sahara
Topography of Western Sahara
Desert Coast of Morocco and Western Sahara, 2014. North is to upper right corner of photo. Note the straight lines produced by strong northerly winds that blow parallel to the coast, producing wind streaks of sand and sand-free surfaces. Also note the transport corridor of roads, railroads and conveyor belt system (vertical line at left) that transport phosphates 100 km (60 miles) from inland mines to the coast. Strong northerly winds blow dust and phosphate into the desert, giving a jagged edge to this line on its south side. [1]

Western Sahara is a territory in Northern Africa, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, Morocco proper, Algeria (Tindouf region), and Mauritania. Geographic coordinates: 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000

Size[edit]

Total: 266,060 km², about the size of Colorado

land: 266,000 km²
water: 0 km²

The peninsula in the extreme southwest, with the city of Lagouira, is called Ras Nouadhibou, Cap Blanc, or Cabo Blanco. The eastern side is part of Mauritania.

Maritime claims: contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue

Land[edit]

Terrain[edit]

The terrain is mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast.

Elevation extremes:

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m[citation needed]
Highest point: unnamed location 805 m

Natural resources[edit]

phosphates, iron ore, fishing resources on Atlantic Ocean coast

Land use[edit]


Arable land: 0.02%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.98% (2005)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Natural hazards[edit]

Hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility. Flash flooding occurs during spring months.

Environment[edit]

Climate[edit]

Hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew.

Current issues[edit]

Sparse water and lack of arable land.


Extreme points[edit]

This is a list of the extreme points of Western Sahara, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • *Note: Western Sahara does not have a northern-most point, the border being formed by a straight horizontal line
  • **Note: Western Sahara does not have an eastern-most point, the border being formed by a straight vertical line

Maps[edit]

References[edit]