17 terms

Chapter 20 - Characteristics of the Sahel, the Sahara, and Oases

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Desert
An extremely dry area with little water and few plants.
What are the physical characteristics of the desert?
Ergs, regs, hammadas, Nile River, Niger River, wadis, hot during the day, and cool during the night.
Erg
Large seas of sand with high dunes.
Reg
Gravel covered plains.
Hammada
Tall, rocky plateaus.
Wadi
A dry riverbed that swells with water when it rains.
How have people adapted to the desert?
Long loose clothing and face covers, few possessions to make travel easier, taking cars or trucks (if you can afford it), otherwise you take camels because they require little water and can walk far.
Oasis
A fertile place in a desert where there is water and vegetation, due to a dip in the land. They can also be man-made by digging with or without drills.
What are the physical characteristics of oases?
Lots of vegetation, most commonly date palms. Is very fertile, and can support wildlife like gazelles.
How have people adapted to oases?
They use them as trading hubs,they use windbreakers to protect themselves, and they grow crops to sell/trade.
What are the physical characteristics of the Sahel?
Much of it is marginal lands, there is little vegetation in the north, most vegetation is in the south. Drought is very common, and there are many sandstorms.
How have people adapted to the Sahel?
They use shifting farming, that way they don't drain the nutrients in one area. They burn coal instead of wood to prevent deforestation, which prevents desertification. They also plant hardy crops like millet and/or sorghum that can survive the tough conditions. They also use shifting herding.
Shifting farming
Farming in one area for a year or two, then moving to another so that you don't completely drain one spot of its nutrients.
Desertification
The process by which an area becomes more dry until it turns into a desert.
Drought
A very long period in which little or no rain falls.
Marginal land
Land that is not suitable for growing crops.
Pastoral nomads
Herders that move with their animals from place to place.
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