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The Faiyum Oasis and Lake Moeris, Egypt

29.4N 30.5E

May 23rd, 2009 Category: Lakes

Egypt - May 13th, 2009

Egypt - May 13th, 2009

Standing out as a fertile green area amidst the yellow, arid desert, the Faiyum Oasis is a distinctive region between the main Nile Valley and other desert oases.

It is a depression in the desert immediately to the west of the Nile south of Cairo whose area is estimated to vary between 490 mi² (1,270 km²) and 656 mi² (1700 km²).

Much of its floor is fields watered by a channel of the Nile, the Bahr Yussef, as it drains into a desert depression to the west of the Nile Valley. The Bahr Yussef veers west through a narrow neck of land north of Ihnasya, then branches out, providing rich agricultural land in the Faiyum basin, and finally drains into the large saltwater Lake Moeris (Birket Qarun).

Lake Moeris was freshwater in prehistory but is today a saltwater lake. The lake’s surface is 140 ft (43 m) below sea-level, and covers about 78 mile² (200 km²). Its area is estimated to vary between 490 mi² (1,270 km²) and 656 mi² (1,700 km²).

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