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Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia

34.7N 11.0E

June 7th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia - May 30th, 2009

Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia - May 30th, 2009

The Kerkennah Islands are a group of islands lying off the east coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabes. The islands are low-lying, at no more than 13 metres above sea level.

The main islands are Chergui (right) and Gharbi (left). The archipelago has an area of 160 km2 and a population of 14,400 (as of 2006).

The green coloring around the islands, particularly northeast of Chergui, is due mostly to bottom reflection in the shallow, clear waters around the archipelago, and not to runoff or algal blooms.

The islands are warm and dry, with strong prevailing winds. This is mainly due to its positioning in the Gulf of Gabes, with strong sea winds (Gharbi), carried over the mainland, making them hot and dry.

What little water vapour there is, is lost over cooler Tunisia first. This causes the general ecology of the island to mainly consist of tall flora, such as palms and saltbushes.

The land is arid, as if desertification was imminent. Fishing, rather than agriculture, therefore, is the key industry. To this day, Kerkennah has been relatively untouched by modernization, and remains beautiful in its natural state.

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