Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Mauritania

  • Don Vermeer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_162

Introduction

The Mauritanian coast of West Africa is one of the chief desert coasts of the world. It stretches about 750 km between 16°N and 21°N. Atmospheric subsidence associated with the subtropical high pressure belt accounts for the aridity of those latitudes, but the aridity of coastal Mauritania is intensified by cold-water upwelling and as­­sociated temperature inversions induced by the Canary Current setting southward at 0.5 knots. Annual precipitation along the coast ranges from less than 50 mm in the north to little more than 300 mm in the vicinity of the Senegal River delta in the south.

Three promontories, two within Mauritania and the third to the south in Senegal, anchor this coastal zone and create two distinct sections. The northern section between Cape Blanc and Cape Timiris ( Fig. 13.1.1) is most irregular. Rocky headlands, often more than 20 m in height, reach the sea, and a few large bays, such as Levrier, Arguin, and St. Jean, intrude the coast. Tidal flats margin...

Keywords

Europe Beach Turbidity Gravel Holocene 
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References

  1. Einsele G, Herm D, Schwarz HU (1974) Holocene sea level fluctuations at the coast of Mauritania. Meteor Forschungsergebnisse, Reihe C 18:43–62Google Scholar
  2. Sarnthein M, Diester-Haass L (1977) Eolian-sand turbidites. J Sediment Petrol 47:868–890Google Scholar
  3. Sarnthein M, Walger E (1974) Der äolische Sandstrom aus der W Sahara zur Atlantikküste. Geolo Rundsch 63:1065–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Wright LD, Coleman JM (1973) Variations in morphology of major river deltas as functions of ocean wave and river discharge regime. Bull Am Assoc Petrol Geol 57:370–398Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Vermeer
    • 1
  1. 1.Louisiana State University USA