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The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, situated in the Horn region in Northeast Africa. It forms the largest continuous area of its altitude in the continent, with little of its surface falling below 1500 m (4,921 ft), while the summits reach heights of up to 4550 m (14,928 ft). It is sometimes called the Roof of Africa due to its height and large area.[1] Most of the Ethiopian Highlands are part of central and northern Ethiopia, and its northernmost portion reaches into Eritrea.

Contents

1 History 2 Physical geography 3 Geology 4 Climate 5 Ecology 6 Fauna 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

History[edit]

A coffee cup from the era of the Kaffa Kingdom

In the southern parts of the Ethiopian Highlands once was located the Kingdom of Kaffa, a medieval early modern state, whence the coffee plant was exported to the Arabian peninsula. The land of the former kingdom is mountainous with stretches of forest. The land is very fertile, capable of three harvests a year. The term "coffee" derives from the Arabic qahwah ( قهوة)[2] and is traced to Kaffa.[2][3] Physical geography[edit] The Highlands are divided into northwestern and southeastern portions by the Main Ethiopian Rift, which contains a number of salt lakes. The northwestern portion, which covers the Tigray and Amhara Regions, includes the Semien Mountains, part of which has been designated the Semien Mountains National Park. Its summit, Ras Dashan (4550 m), is the highest peak in Ethiopia. Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, also lies in the northwestern portion of the Ethiopian Highlands. The southeastern portion's highest peaks are located in the Bale Zone of Ethiopia's Oromia Region. The Bale Mountains, also designated a national park, are nearly as high as those of Semien. The range includes peaks of over 4000 m. Among these are Mount Tullu Demtu (4337 m), which is the second-highest peak in Ethiopia, and Mount Batu (4307 m). Most of the country's major cities are located at elevations of around 2,000–2,500 m (6,562–8,202 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum. Geology[edit]

Dendi Caldera, a collapsed volcano in the mountain region

The Ethiopian Highlands began to rise 75 million years ago[citation needed], as magma from the Earth's mantle uplifted a broad dome of the ancient rocks of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. The opening of the Great Rift Valley split the dome of the Ethiopian Highlands into three parts; the mountains of the southern Arabian Peninsula are geologically part of the ancient Ethiopian Highlands, separated by the rifting which created the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and separated Africa from Arabia. Around 30 million years ago, a flood basalt plateau began to form, piling layers upon layers of voluminous fissure-fed basaltic lava flows. Most of the flows were tholeiitic, save for a thin layer of alkali basalts and minor amounts of felsic (high-silica) volcanic rocks, such as rhyolite. In the waning stages of the flood basalt episode, large explosive caldera-forming eruptions also occurred. The Ethiopian Highlands were eventually bisected by the Great Rift Valley as the African continental crust pulled apart. This rifting gave rise to large alkaline basalt shield volcanoes beginning about 30–31 million years ago.[4] The northern Ethiopian Highlands contain four discernible planation surfaces the oldest one being formed not later than in the Ordovician epoch.[5] The youngest surface formed in the Cenozoic being partly covered by the Ethiopia-Yemen Continental Flood Basalts.[5] Contrary to what has been suggested for much Africa planation surfaces in northern Ethiopia do not appear to be pediplains nor etchplains.[5] Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of Ethiopia The predominant climate of the Ethiopian Highlands is tropical monsoon, which in general is cooler than in other regions at similar proximity to the Equator due to elevation.[citation needed] Ecology[edit]

Ethiopian Highlands with Ras Dashan in the background

Because the highlands elevate Ethiopia, located close to the equator, this has resulted in giving this country an unexpectedly temperate climate. Further, these mountains catch the precipitation of the monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean, resulting in a rainy season that lasts from June until mid-September.[6] These heavy rains cause the Nile to flood in the summer, a phenomenon that puzzled the ancient Greeks, as the summer is the driest season in the Mediterranean climate that they knew. The Ethiopian Highlands share a similar flora and fauna of other mountainous regions of Africa; this distinctive flora and fauna is known as Afromontane but from the time of the last Ice Age has been populated with some Eurasian (palearctic) flora. The habitats are somewhat different on either side of the Great Rift Valley that splits the highlands. At lower elevations, the highlands are surrounded by tropical savannas and grasslands, including the Sahelian Acacia savanna to the northwest, the East Sudanian Savanna to the west, and the Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets to the northeast, east, south, and through the Rift Valley. The highlands themselves are divided into three distinct ecoregions, distinguished by elevation. The Ethiopian montane forests lie between 1,100 and 1,800 meters elevation, above the lowland grasslands and savannas and extends to areas of similar habitat in Eritrea, Sudan, and Djibouti. This woodland belt has several natural plant communities, but has mostly been heavily grazed and converted to agricultural use now. Kolla, is an open woodland found at lower elevations, and dominated by species of Terminalia, Commiphora, Boswellia, and Acacia. Weyna dega is a woodland found in moister and higher locations, dominated by the conifers Afrocarpus gracilior and Juniperus procera. The lower portion of the Harenna Forest is a distinct woodland community, with an open canopy of Warburgia ugandensis, Croton macrostachyus, and Syzygium guineese, and Afrocarpus gracilior, with wild coffee (Coffea arabica) as the dominant understory shrub. The southwesterly winds bring rainfall from May to October with moisture from the Red Sea coming in from the east year round. Fauna at these elevations includes the endemic Harwood's francolin (Francolinus harwoodi), Prince Ruspoli's turaco (Tauraco ruspolii) and yellow-throated seedeater (Serinus flavigula), along with the Djibouti francolin (Francolinus ochropectus) in the Djibouti hills that are in the same general ecoregion.[7] The Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands is the largest of the highland ecoregions, occupying the area between 1800 and 3000 meters elevations. The natural vegetation was closed-canopy forest in moister areas, and grassland, bushland, and thicket in drier areas. However these hillsides have good fertile soil and are heavily populated, largely by farming communities so most of the region has been converted to agriculture with a few areas of natural vegetation remaining. Urban areas in this ecoregion include: Ethiopia's capital city and Africa's fourth largest city Addis Ababa, the Amhara Region capital Bahir Dar with its island monasteries on Lake Tana, the old walled city of Harar, the spa town of Ambo, Asella in the Arsi Zone, the trekking center of Dodola, the lakeside Debre Zeyit, the largest city in the southwest Jimma, the market town of Nekemte, and the capital of the Tigray Region, Mek'ele. Awash National Park is a site for birdwatching. Remaining woodland in the drier areas contains much endemic flora and primarily consists of Podocarpus conifers and Juniperus procera, often with Hagenia abyssinica. In the Harenna Forest, pockets of moist, closed-canopy forest with Pouteria and Olea are draped with lianas and epiphytes, while above 2400 metres, a shrubby zone is home to Hagenia, Schefflera, and giant lobelias (Lobelia gibberroa), species which can be found on the East African mountains further south. The evergreen broadleaved forest of the Semien Mountains, between 2,300 and 2,700 meters elevation, is dominated by Syzygium guineense, Juniperus procera, and Olea africana. As the lower slopes of the mountains are so heavily populated even the high altitude moorlands are affected by human interference, such as the grazing of livestock and even farming. There are two protected areas of high moorland: Bale Mountains National Park in the southern highlands, accessible from Dinsho; and Semien Mountains National Park, accessible from Gondar, which includes Ras Dashen. However even these parks are losing habitat to livestock grazing, while the lower elevation parks (Harar Wildlife Sanctuary, Awash National Park, Omo National Park, and Nechisar National Park) are even less secure. Fauna[edit] These slopes are home to a number of endemic reptiles, birds and animals including the endangered walia ibex (Capra walie) and the gelada baboon, whose thick fur allows it to thrive in the cooler climates of the mountains. These two species are only found on the northern side of the valley while another rare endemic the mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) is restricted to the southern side, and now survives at higher altitudes than its original habitat as the lower slopes are heavily farmed. More widespread mammals found here include the mantled guereza (Colobus guereza), which is also threatened as its habitat disappears as is that of many other mammals of the highlands such as olive baboon (Papio anubis), Egyptian wolf (Canis aureus lupaster), African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), East African lion (Panthera leo melanochaita), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), caracal (Caracal caracal), serval (Leptailurus serval), common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) and red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus). Birds include Rueppell's chat, the finch Ankober serin (Serinus ankoberensis), white-winged flufftail (Sarothrura ayresi), and blue-winged goose. The farmland is home to many butterflies, especially Papilio, Charaxinae, Pieridae and Lycaenidae. Above 3000 meters elevation lie the high Ethiopian montane moorlands, the largest afroalpine region in Africa. The montane moorlands lie above the tree line, and consist of grassland and moorland with abundant herbs and some shrubs that have adapted to the high mountain conditions. There are several endemic animal species one of which, the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), is critically endangered. Other endemics include the big-headed mole-rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) which is common on the Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mountains. The mountain nyala finds its way up to the high moorlands although it is more common at lower elevations. Wintering birds include wigeon (Anas penelope), shoveler (Anas clypeata), ruff (Philomachus pugnax) and greenshank (Tringa nebularia). Other fauna in the area also includes aardvark, eagle, Ethiopian wolf, Egyptian wolf, gelada, secretary bird, Nubian ibex, and marabou stork and Ethiopian endemic species such as the shrew, Crocidura harenna and the narrow-footed woodland mouse (Grammomys minnae) and Menelik’s bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki), which is a subspecies with long, dark fur. See also[edit]

Geography of Ethiopia Wildlife of Ethiopia

References[edit]

^ Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 2. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "coffee, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1891. ^ Weinberg & Bealer 2001, p. 25 ^ January 2005: The Ethiopian Large Igneous Province ^ a b c Coltorti, M.; Dramis, F.; Ollier, C.D. (2007). "Planation surfaces in Northern Ethiopia". Geomorphology. 89: 287–296.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ An explanation of this unusual rain pattern can be found at Ethiopia: Drought intensifies during corn and sorghum harvest (ReliefWeb) ^ http://worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/at0112

External links[edit]

"Ethiopian montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.  "Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.  "Ethiopian montane moorlands". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.  Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

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List of ecoregions in Africa

Sovereign states

Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) Central African Republic Chad Comoros Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Djibouti Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon The Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda São Tomé and Príncipe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

States with limited recognition

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Somaliland

Dependencies and other territories

Canary Islands / Ceuta / Melilla  (Spain) Madeira (Portugal) Mayotte / Réunion (France) Saint Helena / Ascension Island / Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom) Western Sahara

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Major African geological formations

Plates

African Plate Somali Plate Madagascar Plate Seychelles Plate

Cratons and shields

Arabian-Nubian Shield Congo Craton Kaapvaal Craton Kalahari Craton Saharan Metacraton Tanzania Craton Tuareg Shield West African Craton Zimbabwe Craton

Shear zones

Aswa Dislocation Broodkop Shear Zone Central African Shear Zone Chuan Shear Zones Foumban Shear Zone Kandi Fault Zone Mwembeshi Shear Zone Todi Shear Zone Western Meseta Shear Zone

Orogens

Alpide Orogen Cape Fold Belt Damara Orogen East African Orogen Eburnean Orogen Gondwanide Orogen Kibaran Orogen Kuunga Orogen Mauritanide Belt Pan-African orogens Terra Australis Orogen

Rifts

Afar Triangle Anza trough Bahr el Arab rift Benue Trough Blue Nile rift East African Rift Gulf of Suez Rift Lamu Embayment Melut Basin Muglad Basin Red Sea Rift Sangha Aulacogen Atbara rift White Nile rift

Sedimentary basins

Angola Basin Aoukar Blue Nile Basin Chad Basin Congo Basin Douala Basin El Djouf Foreland Karoo Basin Gabon Basin Iullemmeden Basin Kufra Basin Murzuq Basin Niger Delta Basin Ogaden Basin Orange River basin Ouled Abdoun Basin Owambo Basin Reggane Basin Rio del Rey Basin Sirte Basin Somali Coastal Basin Taoudeni basin Tanzania Coastal Basin Tindouf Basin Turkana Basin

Mountain ranges

Aïr Mountains Atlas Mountains Aurès Mountains Bambouk Mountains Blue Mountains Cameroon line Central Pangean Mountains Chaillu Mountains Drakensberg Ethiopian Highlands East African mountains Great Escarpment Great Karas Mountains Guinée forestière Hoggar Mountains Imatong Mountains Jebel Uweinat Loma Mountains Mandara Mountains Marrah Mountains Mitumba Mountains Nuba Mountains Rif Mountains Rwenzori Mountains Sankwala Mountains Serra da Leba Serra da Chela Teffedest Mountains Tibesti Mountains

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Large igneous provinces

Agulhas Plateau (Northeast Georgia Rise, Maud Rise) Brazilian Highlands Caribbean Central Atlantic Circum-Superior Columbia River Deccan Emeishan Ethiopian and Yemen Highlands Franklin (Franklin dike swarm) High Arctic (Sverdrup Basin) Karoo-Ferrar Kerguelen (Broken Ridge) Marathon Keweenawan Long Range Mackenzie (Coppermine River Mackenzie dike swarm) Matachewan Mistassini North Atlantic Ontong Java-Manihiki-Hikurangi Panjal Paraná and Etendeka Shatsky Siberian Skagerrak Ungava Winagami

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Regions of the world

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Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

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Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans-Karakoram Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia (Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans-Karakoram Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

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Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group

West

Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt

South

Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

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Regions of North America

Northern

Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth

West

Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie

South

South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Eastern United States

Appalachia

Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin Desert

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay North Bay East Bay Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt

Latin

Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

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Regions of Oceania

Australasia

Gulf of Carpentaria Zealandia

Kula Gulf

Australia

Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia

Maralinga

Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula

Melanesia

Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago

Solomon Islands

North Solomon Islands Solomon Islands

Fiji New Caledonia New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Republic of West Papua

Vanuatu

Micronesia

Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Kiribati Mariana Islands

Guam Northern Mariana Islands

Marshall Islands Nauru Wake Island

Polynesia

Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Mangareva Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands New Zealand

South Island North Island

Niue Pitcairn Islands Samoan Islands

American Samoa Independent State of Samoa

Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

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Regions of South America

East

Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado

North

Caribbean South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta

South

Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula

West

Andes

Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

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Polar regions

Antarctic

Antarctic Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands

Arctic

Arctic Alaska British Arctic Territories Canadian Arctic Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

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Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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Coordinates: 12°32′00″N 41°23′8″E / 12.53333°N 41.38556°E / 12.533