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A guelta, close to Oubankort in Adrar des Ifoghas.
Camels in the Guelta d'Archei, in north-eastern Chad.

A guelta (or qalta or galta or agelmam), from Arabic:قلتة which means a lower level of height in ground between rocks which holds water, is a pocket of water that forms in drainage canals or wadis in the Sahara.[1] The size and duration will depend on the location and conditions. It may last year-round through the dry season if fed by a source such as a spring.[1] When rivers (wadis) dry up there may remain pockets of water along its course (c.f. ox-bow lake).[1] In Western Sahara, gueltas correspond with oases.[1]

Some examples include Guelta d'Archei in Chad and Timia in Niger.


  1. ^ a b c d Gene E. Likens, ed. (2010). Lake Ecosystem Ecology: A Global Perspective. Academic Press. p. 269. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 

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