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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.

Border Region of Ethiopia and Somalia

7.2N 45.5E

December 17th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Somalia - December 11th, 2011

This image focuses on the border area of Ethiopia, with a surface area of 435,071 square miles (1,126,829 km2), and Somalia, 637,657 square kilometers (246,201 sq mi) of which constitutes land, with 10,320 square kilometers (3,980 sq mi) of water.

The major portion of Ethiopia and Somalia lie on the Horn of Africa. Within Ethiopia is a vast 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. Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.

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.

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.

Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia

8.8N 39.9E

June 27th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

Ethiopia - June 3rd, 2009

The tan terrain dominating this image is part of an Ethiopian section of the Great Rift Valley. There is a green, vegetated stretch on the left side, near the center of the valley, where water is present.

A rift valley is a linear-shaped lowland between highlands or mountain ranges created by the action of a geologic rift or fault. This action is manifest as crustal extension, a spreading apart of the surface which is subsequently further deepened by the forces of erosion.

When the tensional forces are strong enough to cause the plate to split apart it will do so such that a center block will drop down relative to its flanking blocks. This creates the nearly parallel steeply dipping walls.

As this process continues the valley gets wider and wider until it becomes a large basin that fills with sediment (the tan terrain here) from the rift walls and the surrounding area. The area visible here, part of the East African Rift Zone, is still active today.

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