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Ethiopia, Somalia and the Gulf of Aden Coastline

7.3N 44.7E

December 21st, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Somalia and Ethiopia - December 11th, 2011

The Gulf of Aden can be seen at the upper center and right, in the Arabian Sea between Yemen (top center), on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide.

This image focuses on the Somali coast, the longest coastline on the African continent. In additionn to the gulf to the north, Somalia is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia to the west. Its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.

Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Connecting Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

12.5N 43.3E

March 10th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Ethiopia - February 10th, 2011

The Bab-el-Mandeb (sometimes called the Mandab Strait in English) is a strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It is located between Yemen (on the Arabian Peninsula, above), Djibouti and Eritrea (left), north of Somalia (in the Horn of Africa, below).

The Bab-el-Mandeb, meaning “Gate of Scars” in Arabic, derives its name from the dangers attending its navigation, or, according to an Arab legend, from the numbers who were drowned by the earthquake which separated Asia and Africa.

The distance across is about 20 miles (30 km) from Ras Menheli in Yemen to Ras Siyan in Djibouti. The island of Perim divides the strait into two channels. There is a surface current inwards in the eastern channel, but a strong undercurrent outwards in the western channel.

Somalia and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa

8.1N 47.8E

November 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

Somalia and Ethiopia - November 16th, 2009

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost region in Africa, comprising the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. This image includes most of Somalia and the eastern part of Ethiopia.

No distinct geographical feature clearly deliminates the border between the two countries in this image, although it is suggested by the more rusty colored Ethiopian land towards the center.

While Ethiopia is landlocked, Somalia has a long coastline of 3,025 kilometers that has been of importance for trade. Inland, Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. However, there are some rugged mountain ranges in the north near the Gulf of Aden coast; these are the Karkaar Mountains, which appear dark green here.

While Ethiopia also has several important mountain ranges, the land area here is much lower and flatter than the western parts of the country.

Arid and Semi-Arid Landscape of Somalia

9.6N 48.5E

September 25th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Africa’s easternmost country, Somalia has a land area of 637,540 square kilometers. Somalia occupies the tip of a region commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa that also includes Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Somalia’s long coastline (3,025 kilometers) has been of importance chiefly in permitting trade with the Middle East and the rest of the Horn of Africa.

Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. In the far north, however, the rugged east-west ranges of the Karkaar Mountains lie at varying distances from the Gulf of Aden coast. Parts of these ranges appear dark green here, just inland of the northern shores.

The weather in Somalia is hot throughout the year, except at the higher elevations in the north. Rainfall is sparse, and most of Somalia has a semiarid-to- arid environment, as can be inferred from the tan and orange color of the landscape, suitable only for nomadic pastoralism.

Only in limited areas of moderate rainfall in the northwest, and particularly in the southwest, where the country’s two perennial rivers are found, is agriculture practiced to any extent.

Ethiopia, from Mountains to Desert to Tropical Forest

9.0N 38.7E

July 31st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

Ethiopia, the world’s 27th-largest country, has an area of 435,071 square miles (1,127,127 km²). Most of the country lies on the Horn of Africa, which is the eastern-most part of the African landmass. Bordering Ethiopia is Sudan to the west, Djibouti and Eritrea to the north, Somalia to the east, and Kenya to the south.

Within Ethiopia is a massive highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus divided by the Great Rift Valley, which runs generally southwest to northeast and is surrounded by lowlands, steppes, or semi-desert.

The topography of Ethiopia ranges from several very high mountain ranges (the Semien Mountains and the Bale Mountains), to one of the lowest areas of land in Africa, the Danakil depression. This great diversity of terrain determines wide variations in climate, soils, natural vegetation, and settlement patterns.

Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country, ranging from the deserts along the eastern border to the tropical forests in the south to extensive Afromontane in the northern and southwestern parts.

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