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Desertification and Shrinking Lake Chad, Chad

13.3N 14.1E

May 2nd, 2012 Category: Deserts, Lakes

Chad - April 28th, 2012

The Sahara Desert encroaches upon Lake Chad, located mainly in the far west of Chad, bordering on northeastern Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. The name Chad is a local word meaning “large expanse of water”, in other words, a “lake”.

Lake Chad is the remnant of a former inland sea. Closer to the present, Lake Chad was first surveyed by Europeans in 1823, and it was considered to be one of the largest lakes in the world then. Lake Chad has shrunk considerably since the 1960s, when its shoreline had an elevation of about 286 metres (938 ft) above sea level, and it had an area of more than 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi), making its surface the fourth largest in Africa.

An increased demand on the lake’s water from the local population has likely accelerated its shrinkage over the past 40 years. The entire area is subject to desertification. In the upper part of the image, some dust can be seen blowing over the northwestern lobe of the lake.

 

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