Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


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


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...


Europe Beach Turbidity Gravel Holocene 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

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