Tunisia Relief and Coasts

Tunisia Relief and Coasts

Relief. – Tunisia which, as it was said, represents the extreme eastern part of minor Africa, is a predominantly mountainous region, whose backbone is constituted by the last section of the mighty Atlas system. This, which reaches the highest altitudes in Morocco, is declining as it proceeds towards the east, so much so that in Tunisia it barely exceeds 1500 m. (Jebel Chambi, 1544 masl). Also in Tunisia, as in its other western sections, the Atlas is not made up of a single chain, but rather of bundles of chains and isolated reliefs interspersed with high shelves and wide valleys of erosion and lake basins. We can distinguish three beams, of which the main one is the median, to which the aforementioned Gebel Chambi belongs, who raises its summit to only 25 km. from the Algerian border. It can be considered the continuation of the Monti di Tebessa and has its extreme offshoot in the peninsula ending with Capo Bon, whose maximum elevations slightly exceed 600 m. Limestone formations prevail throughout the bundle, referable to the Lias, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods. The northernmost beam, divided from the previous one by the wide groove of Megerda, takes the name of Monti della Krumiria in its western part, which can be considered the continuation of those of Kabylia ending in the east with the promontory of Capo Bianco. Less high than those of the median beam, only in a few points they exceed 1200 m. and they also differ in the nature of their rocks which are in general Eocene sandstones. Exposed to the action of the humid winds of the Mediterranean, the Krumiria Mountains are benefited by abundant rainfall that even exceeds 2000 mm. annual, so that their sides are covered with thick tree vegetation. To the south, the Algerian mountains of Aurès find their continuation in a series of reliefs at an altitude of just over 1000 m. which limit the depression of the Chotts to the north. It is precisely in the bowels of these reliefs that those phosphate deposits were found which constitute one of the main economic resources of Tunisia. They represent a mountainous area distinct from those considered the Ksour Mountains (Gebel Demeur), which with altitudes just over 800 m. they cover an extensive southern area south of the Chotts depression, called the village of M. Matmata from the name of its residents. For Tunisia geography, please check franciscogardening.com.

Coasts. – Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Tunisia faces it, as it was said, with a coastal development of over a thousand km., Which can be divided into two parts: one from Cape Roux to Cape Bon, directed in the direction of the parallels, the the other from Cape Bon to Ras Agedir which follows that of the meridians. The first stretch of about 125 kilometers of development is represented, up to Capo Bianco, by a high and poorly accessible coast. After the aforementioned point, the vast and safe port of Bizerte opens up (see): a coastal lagoon placed by the work of man in direct communication with the sea. Further on, the coast is inflected with a 50 km inlet. forming the wide Gulf of Tunis, the coast of which is low and marshy in the first section, filled by the floods of the Megerda that flows into it, floods that covered the ancient Utica. In the concavity of the gulf, close to hills, Carthage already stood (see), while in the adjacent plain on the shore of a lagoon recently made easily accessible to large ships, Tunis originated and developed. The vast gulf is closed to the east by the small peninsula of Capo Bon, which with a width of 30-50 km. extends north-east for 70 km. The sea that laps this stretch of the coast, generally not very deep, is maintained in the Tunis Channel, which for a width of 150 km. divides Capo Bon from Marsala, less than 100 m. depth; what supports the hypothesis of an ancient connection between Tunisia and Sicily. Some groups of islets and slums interrupt its uniformity: such is the Galita group less than 50 km away from the coast, the Skerki bank north-east of Bizerte, which in some points rises to 7-8 m. deep, and other smaller islets and shoals. From Cape Bon to Ras Agedir, the eastern coast of Tunisia initially appears along the small peninsula of Cape Bon, which is high and difficult to access; but in the wide inlet of the Gulf of Hammamet, on whose shores the port of Susa rises, it returns low and sandy, and remains so as a whole even after passing the Ras Kapoudia along the coast of Sfax distinguished by the generic name of Tunisian Sahel, and then in the Gulf of Gabes and in the following stretch up to Ras Agedir. The sea that laps this eastern coast of Tunisia, which is part of the vast inlet of the Gulf of Little Sirte, is shallow, dotted with island groups and shallows. In front of Susa and at a distance of about 20 km. Kouriat Island rises and further south, in front of Sfax, it extends for almost a hundred km. a vast sandy bottom covered by thick vegetation from which the Kerkenna Islands protrude: an insular group of two main islands and several smaller islets covered by palm groves and occupied by a dense population, divided into numerous villages. At the extreme south of the Gulf of Gabes, the Island of Djerba (v.)  Appears as a strip detached from the coast from which the Ajim Channel just 2 km wide separates it. The island closes to the north the beautiful bay called Bahiret elBou-Grara, a rich fishing field; and other inlets, equally full of fish, some enclosed by sandy shores and converted into rich fishing field; and other inlets, equally full of fish, some enclosed by sandy shores and converted into rich fishing field; and other inlets, equally full of fish, some enclosed by sandy shores and converted intosebche, accompany the short coastal stretch to the border.

Tunisia Relief