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Tassili n’Ajjer: Algeria’s “Plateau of the Rivers”

25.5N 9.0E

March 4th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Algeria - February 25th, 2010

Algeria - February 25th, 2010

The dark brown areas of this image are part of the Tassili n’Ajjer, a mountain range in the Sahara Desert in southeast Algeria, North Africa. The name, in Tamazight, means “Plateau of the Rivers”, referring to a time when the climate was repeatedly far wetter than today.

The range is composed largely of sandstone. The highest point is Adrar Afao, at an elevation of 2158 m. Erosion in the area has resulted in nearly 300 natural rock arches being formed, along with many other spectacular landforms.

Because of the altitude and the water-holding properties of the sandstone, the vegetation is somewhat richer than the surrounding desert; it includes a very scattered woodland of the endangered endemic species Saharan Cypress and Saharan Myrtle in the higher eastern half of the range.

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