Atlas Mountains

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Atlas Mountains,

system of ranges and plateaus in NW Africa, extending c.1,500 mi (2,410 km) from SW Morocco, through N Algeria, to N Tunisia; Jebel Toubkal (13,671 ft/4,167 m), in SW Morocco, is the highest peak. The Atlas Mts., predominantly folded mountains of sedimentary rock, were uplifted during the late Jurassic period. Geologically related to the Alpine system of Europe, they are separated from the Sierra NevadaSierra Nevada
, chief mountain range of S Spain, in Granada prov., running from east to west for c.60 mi (100 km), parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. The range's highest peak is Mulhacén (11,411 ft/3,478 m).
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar and from Sicily and the ApenninesApennines
, Ital. Appennino, mountain system, running the entire length of the Italian peninsula. It extends south c.840 mi (1,350 km) from the Cadibona Pass in Liguria, NW Italy, where the Apennines join with the Ligurian Alps, to the Strait of Messina; the mountains of
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Italy by the Mediterranean Sea; the Canary IslandsCanary Islands,
Span. Islas Canarias, group of seven islands (2011 pop. 2,082,655), 2,875 sq mi (7,445 sq km), autonomous community of Spain, in the Atlantic Ocean off Western Sahara. They constitute two provinces of Spain. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2011 pop.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are a westward extension. The Atlas system is most rugged in Morocco, where, from north to south, the Rif (or Rif Atlas), Middle Atlas, High or Grand Atlas (the highest part of the system), and Anti-Atlas are found; fertile lowlands separate the ranges. In Algeria the system becomes a series of plateaus, with the Tell Atlas and the Saharan Atlas rimming the extensive Plateau of the Chotts before converging in Tunisia.

The Atlas Mts. are a climatic barrier between the Mediterranean basin and the SaharaSahara
[Arab.,=desert], world's largest desert, c.3,500,000 sq mi (9,065,000 sq km), N Africa; the western part of a great arid zone that continues into SW Asia. Extending more than 3,000 mi (4,830 km), from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, the Sahara is bounded on the N by
..... Click the link for more information.
 Desert. The slopes facing north are generally well watered and have important farmland and forests; on these slopes are the headwaters of many streams used for irrigation. The slopes facing south and the drier areas of the system are generally covered with shrub and grasses and have salt lakes and salt flats; sheep grazing is important there. The Atlas Mts. are rich in minerals, especially phosphates, coal, iron, and oil.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The second leg of the trip sees guests fly to Marrakech and drive in the region take in the arid desert around Ouarzazate, and a route up into the Atlas Mountains.
To the girls living in the rural communities of the High Atlas Mountains, it is their daily struggle."
tailor an Atlas Mountains trek in Morocco to raise cash
The Eve Branson Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of local communities in the Atlas Mountains, improving living standards through healthcare, education and women's economic empowerment.
offers six-day Marrakech & the Atlas Mountains tour from Sep 16 for pounds 609, with up to five hours' walking daily, uncovering cultural gems such as the Bahia Palace and vibrant Jewish Quarter.
Nestled between the Atlas Mountains and the Djebilet Hills, the Palais Namaskar hosts a total of 41 units, comprising of guestrooms, suites, villas and palaces.
Additionally, it will include an equestrian school with professional instructors, a professional 18-hole golf course with views of the Atlas Mountains, a five-star hotel and a six-star boutique hotel and luxury residential units.
THE Marrakech Golf Club, Assoufid, one of the best new courses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, featuring spectacular views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, is set to open in spring 2012.
The company is offering a Christmas or New Year holiday in the High Atlas Mountains at Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, which includes accommodations, transfers, festive Berber feasts, live local entertainment, and Moroccan wine tasting.
To find out why, here I am (a reasonably fit 67-year old) tackling the huge slopes of the Atlas mountains, where the tribal people of North Africa still maintain a culture that has not changed in centuries.
Summary: Six students from Rice University have spent the past month in Morocco figuring out how best to capture drops of water in the foggy Atlas Mountains so that nearby villagers have better access to safe drinking water.
You then spend the next five days riding around the Atlas mountains covering more than 1,150km on and off-road.

Full browser ?