Algeria The High Plateaus and the Saharan Atlas
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Stretching more than 600 kilometers eastward from the Moroccan border, the High Plateaus (often referred to by their French name Hauts Plateaux) consist of undulating, steppe-like plains lying between the Tell and Saharan Atlas ranges. The plateaus average between 1,100 and 1,300 meters in elevation in the west, dropping to 400 meters in the east. So dry that they are sometimes thought of as part of the Sahara, the plateaus are covered by alluvial debris formed when the mountains eroded. An occasional ridge projects through the alluvial cover to interrupt the monotony of the landscape.
Higher and more continuous than the Tell Atlas, the Sahara Atlas range is formed of three massifs: the Ksour near the Moroccan border, the Amour, and the Oulad Nail south of Algiers. The mountains, which receive more rainfall than those of the High Plateaus, include some good grazing land. Watercourses on the southern slopes of these massifs disappear into the desert but supply the wells of numerous oases along the northern edge of the desert, of which Biskra, Laghouat, and Béchar are the most prominent.
Data as of December 1993
NOTE: The information regarding Algeria on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Algeria The High Plateaus and the Saharan Atlas information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Algeria The High Plateaus and the Saharan Atlas should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.