Algeria Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Algeria?

Overview:

Algeria, the second largest Arab/African country after Sudan, is nearly one-third the size of the continental U.S. It is situated on the Mediterranean coast of Africa about midway between Tangier and Tunis, opposite Majorca.

Its geography is a contrast with the mountainous, fertile terrain of the north and the great expanse of arid desert in the south. Ninety percent of the population live on the fertile coastal strip that extends about 50 miles inland and stretches about 950 miles from Morocco in the west to Tunisia on the east. Algiers, Oran, and Annaba are located in this area along the coast.

South of this coastal plain rise the beautifully rugged hills and mountains of the Kabylie and the Aures. Behind the mountains lies the high plateau, a semiarid rangeland. Beyond, about 200 miles inland, is the vast Sahara Desert, which comprises 90% of the country.

From the sea, Algiers is a spectacular sight, rising sharply from the port area and business district to the residential areas along tree-covered hills. In sunlight, the white buildings of "Alger la Blanche" gleam against the blue Mediterranean below and the green pines above.

Architecturally, the city is European with a strong Mediterranean flavor. The Casbah, an ancient, congested quarter in the heart of the city, contains most of what remains of the Turkish city of the 16th-18th centuries.

Geography - note:

largest country in Africa

Climate:

In Algeria the climate varies. Coastal areas, including Algiers, are hot in summer and chilly and rainy for several months in winter. Inland mountain regions between the coast and the desert have cooler weather; temperatures are below freezing for long periods of winter. Spring and fall in the "Tell" (a part of northern Algeria in which the average annual rainfall is 16 inches or more, making it usable for agriculture), are mild and enjoyable. The Tell and the Sahara have climate extremes, although in different ways. The Tell is very cold in winter and very hot in summer. The Sahara's extremes are between daytime (warm in winter; hot in late spring, summer, early fall) and nighttime (cold year round).


Algiers has four distinct seasons, with temperature variations ranging normally between 40-110°F. It tends to be extremely hot during the month of August, and some winters can be cold and rainy. In general, however, the weather is quite pleasant, but mold and mildew can be a real problem.


Despite its warm summer, Algiers has what is often described as a "cold climate with a hot sun." Winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Cool weather generally begins in November and lasts into March. The rainy season spans about five months.

Algeria Use of Natural Resources

Algeria Environment

Climate:

In Algeria the climate varies. Coastal areas, including Algiers, are hot in summer and chilly and rainy for several months in winter. Inland mountain regions between the coast and the desert have cooler weather; temperatures are below freezing for long periods of winter. Spring and fall in the "Tell" (a part of northern Algeria in which the average annual rainfall is 16 inches or more, making it usable for agriculture), are mild and enjoyable. The Tell and the Sahara have climate extremes, although in different ways. The Tell is very cold in winter and very hot in summer. The Sahara's extremes are between daytime (warm in winter; hot in late spring, summer, early fall) and nighttime (cold year round).


Algiers has four distinct seasons, with temperature variations ranging normally between 40-110°F. It tends to be extremely hot during the month of August, and some winters can be cold and rainy. In general, however, the weather is quite pleasant, but mold and mildew can be a real problem.


Despite its warm summer, Algiers has what is often described as a "cold climate with a hot sun." Winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Cool weather generally begins in November and lasts into March. The rainy season spans about five months.

Terrain:

mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Natural Resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Natural Hazards:

mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season

Irrigated Land:

2,198 Square Miles
5,694 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Algeria Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 919,590 Square Miles
2,381,741 Square Kilometers
Land Area 919,590 Square Miles
2,381,741 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 3,941 Miles
6,343 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 2,198 Square Miles
5,694 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km
Coastline 620 Miles
998 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 28 00 N, 3 00 E
Terrain mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Highest Point 3,003 Meters
Highest Point Location Tahat 3,003 m
Lowest Point -40 Meters
Lowest Point Location Chott Melrhir -40 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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