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Encyclopedia > Lake Chad
Lake Chad
Map of lake and surrounding region
Coordinates 13°0′N 14°0′ECoordinates: 13°0′N 14°0′E
Lake type Endorheic
Primary sources Chari River
Primary outflows Soro & Bodélé Depressions
Basin countries Chad
Cameroon
Niger
Nigeria
Surface area 1,350 km²
Average depth 1.5 m
Max depth 11 m
Water volume 10.8 km³
Shore length1 650 km
Surface elevation 280 m
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Chad (in French: Lac Tchad) is a large, shallow lake in Africa. It is economically very important, providing water to more than 20 million people living in the four countries which surround it — Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. It is located mainly in the far west of Chad, bordering on northeastern Nigeria. The Chari River is its largest source of water, providing over 90% of Lake Chad's water. The lake possesses many small islands and mudbanks, and its shorelines are largely composed of marshes. Because it is very shallow — only 10.5 metres (34 ft) at its deepest — its area is particularly sensitive to small changes in average depth, and it consequently also shows seasonal fluctuations in size. Lake Chad has no apparent outlet, but its waters percolate into the Soro and Bodélé depressions. Image File history File links Lake Chad and surrounding area Map adapted from http://www. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin—also called a terminal or closed basin—is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water, either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or... The Chari or Shari River is a 949-kilometer-long river of central Africa, flowing from the Central African Republic through Chad into Lake Chad. ... Dust storm in the Bodele Depression. ... A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... The Chari or Shari River is a 949-kilometer-long river of central Africa, flowing from the Central African Republic through Chad into Lake Chad. ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... Dust storm in the Bodele Depression. ...


Lake Chad gave its name to the country of Chad. The name Chad is a local word meaning "large expanse of water," in others words simply "lake." [1]

Lake Chad in a 2001 satellite image, with the actual lake in blue, and vegetation on top of the old lake bed in green. Above that, the changes from 1973 to 1997 are shown.
Lake Chad in a 2001 satellite image, with the actual lake in blue, and vegetation on top of the old lake bed in green. Above that, the changes from 1973 to 1997 are shown.

Lake Chad is believed to be a remnant of a former inland sea which has grown and shrunk with changes in climate over the past 13,000 years. At its largest, around 4000 BC, this lake is estimated to have covered an area of 400,000 km². Lake sediments appear to indicate dry periods, when the lake nearly dried up, around 8500 BC, 5500 BC, 2000 BC, and 100 BC. It was one of the largest lakes in the world when first surveyed by Europeans in 1823, but it has shrunk considerably since then. An increased demand on the lake's water from the local population has likely accelerated its shrinkage over the past 40 years. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research blamed the lake's retreat largely on overgrazing in the area surrounding the lake, causing desertification and a decline in vegetation. The report also concluded that "the lake's decline probably has nothing to do with global warming"[2] Description: A composite of images showing the diminishing Lake Chad from 1973 to 2001. ... Description: A composite of images showing the diminishing Lake Chad from 1973 to 2001. ... An inland sea is a shallow sea that covers central areas of continents during high stands of sea level that result in marine transgressions. ... Square kilometre (U.S. spelling: square kilometer), symbol km², is a decimal multiple of SI unit of surface area square metre, one of the SI derived units. ... Journal of Geophysical Research is a publication of the American Geophysical Union. ... // In the dictionary and agriculture, overgrazing is when plants are exposed to grazing for too long, or without sufficient recovery periods. ... Ship stranded by the retreat of the Aral Sea Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various climatic variations, but primarily from human activities. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ...

Map of the lake in 1973
Map of the lake in 1973

In the 1960s it had an area of more than 26,000 km², making it the fourth largest lake in Africa. By 2000 its extent had fallen to less than 1,500 km². This is due to reduced rainfall combined with greatly increased amounts of irrigation water being drawn from the lake and the rivers which feed it, the largest being the Chari/ Logon system, which originates in the mountains of the Central African Republic. It seems likely that the lake will shrink further and perhaps even disappear altogether in the course of the 21st century. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 584 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (971 × 997 pixel, file size: 553 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Cropped from public domain US army map from PCL map collection, located here. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 584 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (971 × 997 pixel, file size: 553 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Cropped from public domain US army map from PCL map collection, located here. ... Square kilometre (U.S. spelling: square kilometer), symbol km², is a decimal multiple of SI unit of surface area square metre, one of the SI derived units. ... Square kilometre (U.S. spelling: square kilometer), symbol km², is a decimal multiple of SI unit of surface area square metre, one of the SI derived units. ... The Chari or Shari River is a 949-kilometer-long river of central Africa, flowing from the Central African Republic through Chad into Lake Chad. ... The Logon River is a major tributary of the Chari River. ...


The lake presently has an average depth of only 1.5 meters (5 ft). It nearly dried out in 1908[citation needed] and again in 1984. As it retreats every summer, recessional agriculture is practised, while the Buduma people fish from canoes. There are many floating islands in the lake. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including fish, crocodiles, waterfowl, and shore birds, which are important sources of food for the local human population. The Buduma are an ethnic group of Chad who inhabit many of the islands of Lake Chad. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Canadian canoe be merged into this article or section. ... Uros island Floating islands are a common natural phenomenon that are found in many parts of the world. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... Falcated Duck at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands centre, Gloucestershire, England Wildfowl or waterfowl, also waterbirds, is the collective term for the approximately 147 species of swans, geese and ducks, classified in the order Anseriformes, family Anatidae. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ...


In the 1960s, a plan was proposed to divert the Ubangi river into Lake Chad. The copious amount of water from the Ubangi would revitalize that dying lake and provide livelihood in fishing and enhanced agriculture to tens of millions of starving central Africans and Sahelians. The Ubangi River (also Oubangi) is a major tributary of the Congo River in Central Africa. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


See also

// This list of major or noteworthy lakes is sorted alphabetically by continent. ... The Neolithic Subpluvial was an extended period of wet and rainy conditions in the climate history of northern Africa. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Room, Adrian "African Placenames" (1994) McFarland and Company, ISBN 0-89950-943-6
  2. ^ Mayell, Hillary (April 26, 2001). Shrinking African Lake Offers Lesson on Finite Resources. National Geographic News. Retrieved 2007-03-17.

The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN (sometimes pronounced is-ben), is a unique[1] identifier for books, intended to be used commercially. ...

External links

  • Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law. See Lake Chad. Peace Palace Libray
  • International Cooperation and Sustainable Water Management of the Waters of the Lake Chad/ by Moustapha Abakar Malloumi
  • Information on, and a map of, Chad's watershed.
  • Map of the Lake Chad basin at Water Resources eAtlas.
  • Article on the disappearing lake in The Guardian.
  • Reconstruction of Megalake Chad using Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission data.

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Lake Chad (999 words)
Lake Chad (in French: Lac Tchad) is a large, shallow lake in Africa.
The lake is believed to be a remnant of a former inland sea which is estimated to have covered an area of 400,000 km² 6,000 years ago.
Lake Chad, which is in Chad and Cameroon, was once the second-largest lake in Africa but has shrunk dramatically during the last few decades and is now down to less than 10% of its former size.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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