Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Geography of Egypt

The Geography of Egypt relates to two regions: Southwest Asia and North Africa.
Egypt has coastlines on both the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The country borders Libya to the west, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east, and Sudan to the south. Covering 1,001,449 km2, Egypt has a land area about the same as that of Texas and New Mexico combined, four times bigger than that of the United Kingdom, and twice as big as that of France. The longest straight-line distance in Egypt from north to south is 1,024 km, while that from east to west measures 1,240 km. More than 2,900 km of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea constitute Egypt's maritime boundaries.
Egypt is predominantly desert. Only 35,000 km2 - 3.5% - of the total land area is cultivated and permanently settled. Most of the country lies within the wide band of desert that stretches eastwards from Africa's Atlantic Coast across the continent and into southwest Asia.
Egypt's geological history has produced four major physical region
Despite covering only about 5.5% of the total area of Egypt, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta are the most important regions, being the country's only cultivable regions and supporting about 99% of the population. The Nile valley extends approximately 800 km from Aswan to the outskirts of Cairo. The Nile Valley is also known as Upper Egypt, while the Nile Delta region is known as Lower Egypt. Steep rocky cliffs rise along the banks of the Nile in some stretches, while other areas along the Nile are flat, with space for agricultural production. In the past, flooding of the Nile during the summer provided silt and water to make agriculture possible on land that is otherwise very dry. Since construction of the Aswan Dam, agriculture in the Nile valley depends on irrigation. The Nile delta consists of flat, low-lying areas. Some parts of the delta are marshy and water-logged, and thus not suitable for agriculture. Other areas of the delta are used for agriculture.