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Algeria, Land and Resources

Grand Erg Occidental, Grand Erg Oriental, Ahaggar Mountains, Chelif, massifs

Algeria has four main physical regions, which extend east to west across the country in parallel zones. In the north, along the Mediterranean coast and extending inland for 80 to 190 km (50 to 120 mi), is the Tell. The region consists of a narrow and discontinuous coastal plain backed by the mountainous area of the Tell Atlas, a range of the Atlas Mountains system. The numerous valleys of this region contain most of Algeria’s arable land. The country’s principal river, the Chelif (725 km/450 mi long), rises in the Tell Atlas and flows to the Mediterranean Sea; no permanent streams are found south of the Tell. The next region, lying to the south and southwest, is the High Plateau, a highland region of level terrain. Several basins here collect water during rainy periods, forming large, shallow lakes; as these dry they become salt flats, called chotts, or shatts. South of this lie the mountains and massifs of the Saharan Atlas. The fourth region, comprising more than 90 percent of the country’s total area, is the great expanse of the Algerian portion of the Sahara. Much of the terrain is covered by gravel, although the Grand Erg Oriental and the Grand Erg Occidental are vast regions of sand dunes. In the south, rising above the desert, are the Ahaggar Mountains, which culminate in Mount Tahat (3,003 m/9,852 ft), the highest peak in Algeria.

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Article key phrases:

Grand Erg Occidental, Grand Erg Oriental, Ahaggar Mountains, Chelif, massifs, salt flats, great expanse, High Plateau, shallow lakes, Mediterranean Sea, mountainous area, highest peak, Mediterranean coast, desert, gravel, basins, flows, percent, west, water, South, range

 
 

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