Where is MOROCCO located on the map?
Morocco is a country in North Africa, located in the Maghreb. In Arabic, the country is called Al Maghrib.
Morocco is bordered to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Mauritania beyond Western Sahara and to the east by Algeria. Moroccan borders in the Sahara Desert are not clearly defined: since 1979, Morocco occupies the southern region of Western Sahara (former Spanish Sahara), a territory that it claims and occupies despite the condemnation of The Organization of United Nations.
Rabat, the capital and one of the largest cities in Morocco, is located on the Atlantic coast. Casablanca is the most important city of the country and its first port; Marrakech and Fez are the major centers of Moroccan commerce. Tangier controls the Strait of Gibraltar.
The country covers a total area of 706,550 km2, of which Western Sahara represents 266,779 km2. It is in Morocco that one finds the largest plains and the highest mountains of North Africa. The relief of the country is marked by four major systems: the Rif, the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas.
Where is the country of MOROCCO situated?
The Mediterranean shores are dominated by the Rif, a low mountain range, 1,000 m on average, but 2,450 m at Jebel Tidirhine, which rises from east to west. To the south, a depression, the gap of Taza, separates the Rif from a folded chain, the Middle Atlas, which exceeds 3,000 m, while a central plateau makes the transition with rich coastal plains which are so many foci of settlement. In the west there are karstic reliefs with sinkholes that sometimes form lakes. The old volcanic activity gave birth to crater lakes like Sidi Ali.
The High Atlas, which also extends in Algeria, culminates at 4 165 m in Jebel Toubkal, south of Marrakech; it succeeds the Middle Atlas in a north-east-southwest alignment and extends to the Atlantic, where it connects to the Anti-Atlas, the southernmost of the Moroccan mountain ranges, by the massif of volcanic origin of jebel Siroua (3,300 m). This rugged ridge, made up of young mountains, separates the green and fertile plains and plains of the Sahara from dry wadis and arid lands.
Morocco is subject to the contrasting influences of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara on landforms whose western part receives ocean rains, while the peaks play the role of barriers. The coastal plains are at the same latitude as the oases of the Algerian Sahara; Rich and fertile in the North, they are influenced by the desert in their southern part from Essaouira (Mogador) and especially from Agadir.
In the North, the climate is Mediterranean, tempered by the influence of the sea with colder winters at high altitudes and rainfall of around 800 mm annually on the northern Atlantic side. In Essaouira, mean annual temperatures range from 16.4 ° C in January to 22.5 ° C in August. Inland, winters are cooler and summers warmer. Thus, in Fez, temperatures vary from 10 ° C in January to 26.9 ° C in August. In the Atlas, it is not uncommon to find winter temperatures below -17.8 ° C, and the peaks are snow-covered most of the year.
The rainy season corresponds to the winter months. Precipitation is significant in the northwest and weakest in the east and south, especially in the eastern foothills of the atlas. Average annual rainfall ranges from 860 mm in Tangiers to 430 mm in Casablanca, 280 mm in Essaouira and 130 mm in the Sahara.
Morocco is the most forested country in the Maghreb. Mountainous areas facing the Atlantic are covered by forests (9.8% of the territory), including large expanses of cork oaks, holm oaks, junipers, cedars, firs and pines autumn and winter rains, but increasingly long droughts in the south make this vegetation vulnerable to fire, cutting and soil erosion. The cultivated lands occupy almost all the plains; elsewhere, the maquis predominates. In the plain of the Sous, near the southern border, one finds a vast forest of argan trees, thorny endemic of North Africa. The vegetation in the valleys of the pre-Saharan wadis is identical to that of the arid zones of the region; in oases, market gardening and fruit trees thrive in the shade of date palms.
Morocco, at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, has a diverse fauna. The Roman mosaics of Volubilis testify to the presence of elephants, now extinct, and lions, whose last specimens were still living in the Atlas in the nineteenth century. Species such as fox, rabbit, otter and squirrel are also found, as well as gazelle, warthog, panther, baboon and horned viper.