Ethiopian Plateau

Ethiopian Plateau

 

(also Amhara Plateau), a tableland in northeastern Africa, primarily in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Plateau extends from Lake Turkana to the lower course of the Barka River—that is, from 5° to 18° N lat. Elevations increase from 2,000 m in the southwest to 3,000 m in the northeast. The tableland drops off abruptly in the east and descends in steps in the west.

The northern part of the Ethiopian Plateau (to 15° N lat.) is a peneplain formed on crystalline rocks, with isolated mountain peaks; to the south are mesa-like lava plateaus, known as ambas, that are separated by deep canyon-like valleys into massifs difficult of access. The highest peak is Ras Dashan (4,623 m) in the Semien Mountains. Southwest of the mountains is a vast inter-montane depression that includes Lake Tana. In the southeast the tableland descends in steps to a deep fault depression that forms the border of the Somali Plateau. Transverse lava sheets divide the depression into several basins; fumaroles and hot springs are found on its floor and along its periphery.

The tableland has a hot, subequatorial climate, with a wet summer. A marked altitudinal zonation of climate, soils, and vegetation is observed. The climates of the western and eastern slopes differ sharply. The western slopes receive abundant precipitation in the summer and about 1,500 mm annually. In summer, hot winds similar to foehns often move down the eastern slopes, which are dry; precipitation (about 500 mm annually) falls primarily in winter. High in the mountains there are winter snowfalls.

The Ethiopian Plateau has an extensive river network. The large rivers of the Nile-Blue Nile, Atbara, and Baro basins, which flow through deep canyons, have many rapids and are not navigable.

The soil and vegetation zones are most highly developed on the windward western slope. The lowest zone—the quolla (to 1,700–1,800 m)—has an average annual temperature of at least 20°C, with tropical rain forests and, on the interfluvial benches, high-grass and dry (in the north) savannas. In the woina dega zone (to 2,400 m) average monthly temperatures range from 13° to 16–18°C; there is savanna vegetation, with palms, acacias, and Euphorbia candelabrum. In the dega zone (2,400–4,000 m), where temperatures drop sharply, coniferous forests of juniper trees grow on the mountain slopes, giving way to high-mountain steppes. The three zones have long been cultivated and produce many varieties of grain crops, notably durum wheat, rye, and barley. Maize, oil-bearing plants, citrus trees, and coffee trees are also cultivated.

The fauna of the Ethiopian Plateau is quite diverse, with such herbivores as giraffes, elephants, zebras, and antelope and such predators as the leopard, Senegalese lion, lynx, and hyena. Rhinoceroses and hippapotamuses live near the rivers. The numerous apes include green monkeys, geladababoons, and anubis baboons. The bird life is especially rich and diverse.

References in periodicals archive ?
Egypt gets 85 percent of its water quota from the Ethiopian plateau and does face water scarcity as the citizen's quota does not exceed 660 cubic meters of water annually, he noted.
Egypt receives about 70% of its water flow from the Blue Nile and Atbara river, both sourced in the Ethiopian plateau, then merge as the main Nile in northern Sudan.
9 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal, Omar al-Bashir received, Tuesday, a phone call from his brother, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi President of Egypt, reassuring on the situation in Sudan after heavy rains on the Ethiopian plateau and a number of the states of Sudan .
The committee said in its daily report that data collected from the main stations and satellite pictures showed rainy clouds on the Ethiopian plateau which means that water levels would continue to increase in most of the Nile reaches.
He added : 'The establishment of the dam leads to the transfer of water supply from the front of Lake Nasser to the Ethiopian plateau, which means full Ethiopian control of every drop of water, as well as causing an environmental imbalance stirring seismic activity in the region as a result of the massive water weight laden with silt withheld in front of the dam, estimated by experts at more than 63 billion tonnes'.
Khartoum, Shawwal 08, 1433, August 26, 2012, SPA -- Officials in the northern State of Nahr Al-Neel (river Nile) of The Sudan said today that 30 villages accommodating more than 5,000 families were totally isolated from the rest of the state due to flooding Atbara river pouring from the Ethiopian plateau.
Summary: Nile River levels have risen substantially due to heavy rain falling on the Ethiopian plateau.
For instance, nearly 60 per cent of the Tigris and Euphrates river waters originate from outside the region, namely Turkey, while 100 per cent of the Nile River originates from the Ethiopian Plateau, experts noted.
On the other hand, there is the no less interesting issue of how the sufferings of these sixty-three came to develop a political impact at Westminster strong enough to land a British expeditionary force of 16,000 men and 8,000 baggage animals on a little-known stretch of the Red Sea coast, and to set it struggling up the 6,000 foot escarpment of the Ethiopian plateau, on an errand which certainly had no more extensive aim than that of freeing the captives and asserting the right of diplomatic immunity owed to official envoys.
Khartoum, 3 Aug (SUNA)- The Sudanese Youth Union on Wednesday launched its first convoy for humanitarian relief to flood victims in Kasala state of Eastern Sudan, within the framework of a campaign launched by the union to help flood and torrential rains victims in the country Kasala state, eastern Sudan had earlier announced that some 1617 families have been hit by the floods brought by the Gash River, an untamed seasonal river coming from the Ethiopian plateau, and which each year hits at different area in eastern Sudan.
The establishment of the dam leads to the transfer of water supply from the front of Lake Nasser to the Ethiopian plateau, which means full Ethiopian control of every drop of water, as well as [causing] an environmental imbalance stirring seismic activity in the region as a result of the massive water weight laden with silt withheld in front of the dam, estimated by experts at more than 63 billion tonnes," he added.
Allam said that Ethiopia is an important partner for Egypt and Sudan, and 85 percent of the proceeds of the river coming to Egypt are from the Ethiopian plateau, which reflects the interest and the political leadership's keenness to activate cooperation with Ethiopia for the benefit of the interests of both peoples.

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