Landscape of the Assekrem region in the Hoggar in Tamanrasset Province
|Elevation||2,908 m (9,541 ft)|
|Native name||جبال هقار|
Idurar n Uhaggar
|Hoggar National Park|
|Location||Tamanrasset Province, Algeria|
|Area||3,800 km2 (1,500 sq mi)|
The Hoggar Mountains (Arabic: جبال هقار, Berber: idurar n Ahaggar, Tuareg: Idurar Uhaggar) are a highland region in the central Sahara, southern Algeria, along the Tropic of Cancer. The mountains cover an area of approximately 550,000 square km (212,000 square miles).
This mountainous region is located about 1,500 km (930 mi) south of the capital, Algiers. The area is largely rocky desert with an average elevation of more than 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level. The highest peak, Mount Tahat, is at 2,908 m (9,541 ft). The mountains are primarily composed of metamorphic rock approximately 2 billion years old, although there are areas where more recent volcanic activity has laid down much newer rock. Several of the more dramatic peaks, such as Ilamen, are the result of erosion wearing away extinct volcano domes, leaving behind the more resistant material that plugged the volcanic cores.
The Hoggar Mountain range typically experiences hot summers, with a cold winter climate. Temperatures fall below freezing in the winter. Rainfall is rare and sporadic year-round. However, since the climate is less extreme than in most other areas of the Sahara, the Hoggar Mountains are a major location for biodiversity, including number of relict species. The Hoggar Mountains are part of the West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecoregion. It is also one of the national parks of the country.
Fauna and flora
Slightly to the west of the Hoggar range, a population of the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) remained viable into the 20th century, but is now thought to be extirpated within this entire region.
Vegetation in this area includes trees such as Vachellia tortilis, Vachellia seyal, myrtle and Tamarix aphylla which are scattered throughout the area. Other plants may include Citrullus colocynthis and Calotropis procera.
Prehistoric settlement is evident from extant rock paintings dating to 6000 BC. The Hoggar Massif is the land of the Kel Ahaggar Tuareg. The tomb of Tin Hinan, the woman believed to be the matriarch of the Tuareg, is located at Abalessa, an oasis near Tamanrasset. According to legend, the Tim Lam are from the Tafilalt region in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
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