Chott el Djerid

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Chott el Djerid
Djerid3.jpg
Chott el Djerid is located in Tunisia
Chott el Djerid
Chott el Djerid
Chott al-Djarid in Tunisia
Coordinates 33°42′N 8°26′E / 33.7°N 8.43°E / 33.7; 8.43Coordinates: 33°42′N 8°26′E / 33.7°N 8.43°E / 33.7; 8.43
Type Salt lake, endorheic basin
Primary inflows groundwater
Primary outflows terminal Evaporation
Basin countries Tunisia
Max. length 250 km (160 mi)
Max. width 20 km (12 mi)
Surface area 7,000 km2 (2,700 sq mi)
Surface elevation +10–25 m (33–82 ft)

Chott el Djerid (Arabic: شط الجريد‎‎ Šoṭṭ el-Jarīd) also spelled Sciott Gerid and Shott el Jerid,[1][2][3][4] is a large endorheic salt lake in southern Tunisia. The name can be translated from the Arabic into English as "Lagoon of the Land of Palms".[5]

Geography

The bottom of Chott el Djerid is located between 10 and 25 meters below sea level.[6] The lake is shaped like a wolf, with a width that varies widely; at its narrowest point, it is only 20 km (12 mi) across, compared to its overall length of 250 km (160 mi). At times, parts of it appear in various shades of white, green and purple.[7] The narrow eastward inlet of the chott is also known as Chott el Fejej.

It is the largest salt pan of the Sahara Desert, with a surface area of over 7,000 km2 (some sources state 5,000 km2). The site has a typical hot desert climate. Due to the harsh climate with mean annual rainfall of below 100 mm and daytime temperatures sometimes reaching 50 °C (122 °F) or more during summer with dense solar radiation, water evaporates from the lake. In summer Chott el Djerid is almost entirely dried up, and numerous fata morganas occur. situated at 33 ° 42'N 8 ° 26'E in the center-west of the country, between the cities of Tozeur and Kebili.

During winter, a small tributary of water can be seen discharging into the lake.[clarification needed][8]

Because the flooded area is very variable, the values presented for the area of the lake (or its basin), mostly almost always dry, can vary widely according to the author, some of them reaching the value of 10 000 km² for the area Maximum. Something similar happens with altitude, whose values vary between +10 and -25 meters below sea level.

Currently, freshwater irrigation schemes are applied in the region to help eliminate salt from soils and increase the productive area.

Surrounding area

South of Chott el Djerid, the Grand Erg Oriental desert begins. The towns of Kebili and Douz are also located south of the lake.

Access

The lake can be crossed by foot and even by car, but this is very dangerous since the salt crust is not always firm.

During winter, when the lake is full, it can be crossed by boat. Piles of salt at its edges are collected for salt production processing.[7]

Fauna

Relict populations of the West African crocodile persisted in the Chott el Djerid until the early 20th century.[9] Pink flamingos have been known to use the shores of the lake as nesting sites in springtime.[5]

Namesakes

Chott el Djerid is the namesake of the Jerid Lacuna an Endorheic hydrocarbon lake on the Saturnian moon Titan. That lake is located 66.7°N and 221°W on Titan's globe and involves liquid methane and ethane,[10] instead of water.

In popular culture

The Lars Homestead set from Star Wars in Chott el Djerid.

Chott el Djerid was used as a filming location for the Star Wars series,[11] among others. It was also described in Jules Verne's last novel, Invasion of the Sea.

According to legend, it was there that the Greek goddess Athena was born.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Shaţţ al Jarīd: Tunisia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  2. ^ "Sciott Gerid: Tunisia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Chott el Jerid: Tunisia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Shott el Jerid: Tunisia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  5. ^ a b Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. pp. 125–126. ISBN 0-89577-087-3. 
  6. ^ "Flood Maps". NASA et al. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  7. ^ a b "البحيرة شط ايل الجريد - تونس". Tixik.com. Retrieved 2011-05-23. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "شـط الجـريد". Al-hakawati. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  9. ^ "Crocodiles in the Sahara Desert: An Update of Distribution, Habitats and Population Status for Conservation Planning in Mauritania". PLOS ONE. February 25, 2011.
  10. ^ Coustenis, A.; Taylor, F. W. (21 July 2008). Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World. World Scientific. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-981-281-161-5. 
  11. ^ "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope film locations". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations: Exploring film locations around the world. movie-locations.com. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 

External links

Media related to Chott el Djerid at Wikimedia Commons

  • Chott el Djerid at Lexicorient
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