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Ogaden Plateau and Shebelle River, Ethiopia

7.3N 42.1E

June 19th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

The Shebelle River rises in the Ethiopian Highlands and flows southeast through the arid Ogaden Plateau (right), then into Somalia.

Here, the western border of the Ogaden Plateau is visible. The plateau has an elevation above sea level that ranges from 1,500 meters in the northwest, falling to about 300 meters along the southern limits and the Wabi Shebelle valley.

The areas with altitudes between 1400 and 1600 meters are characterized as semi-arid, which is evident from observing the golden tan terrain here, receiving as much as 500-600 mm of rainfall annually. More typical of the Ogaden is an average annual rainfall of 350 mm and less.

The landscape consists of dense shrubland, bush grassland and bare hills. In more recent years, the Ogaden has suffered from increasingly erratic rainfall patterns, which has led to an increasing frequency of major droughts.

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