Cloudless View of Western Africa – November 11th, 2008
Here we have a small portion of a beautiful, cloud-free image of Western Africa, all the way from the Strait of Gibraltar on the northern coast to the southern coast. Please click on the thumbnail to open the full image.
After doing so, in the North, we can see Morocco and part of Algeria. Towards the center, we have Mauritania and Mali. Farther South, the image covers Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), Liberia, and parts of Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau.
In the first image detail we can see Lake Débo and the Niger River, in Mali. Lake Débo, at its greatest extent, lies around 80 km from Mopti on its upstream end and 240km from Timbuktu at its downstream end.
It is the largest of many such seasonal wetlands and lakes which form the Niger Inland Delta, and the largest lake in Mali. It is largely reduced during the September to March dry season.
In the second close-up, we can see the Saharah Desert in Mauritania, Algeria and Mali. The redder patch of sand is in Mali, while the brown stretch is mainly in Algeria and the lighter areas mostly in Mauritania. The area is calm, free of disturbances such as the large dust storm that had covered the same region of northwestern Africa less than one month ago.
In the third and final close-up we can clearly see the Strait of Gibraltar and the vegetation in the Moroccan coastal area.
The coastal plains of Morocco are rich and accordingly, they comprise the backbone for agriculture. Morocco has got a Mediterranean climate, which becomes more extreme towards the interior regions where it is mountainous. Forests cover about 12% of the land while arable land accounts for 18%. 5% is irrigated.