Unit #7: Southwest Asia The Middle East

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Unit #7: Southwest Asia

  • The Middle East

Take Five…

  • What is the largest country in Southwest Asia?

Chp 21: Physical Geography

  • The Land bridge to the world

  • Peninsulas

    • Arabian Peninsula
      • Bordered by the Red Sea & Persian Gulf
    • Anatolian Peninsula
      • Bordered by the Black Sea & Mediterranean Sea

Wally Points…

  • Why is the Suez canal so important? What other waterways are highly sought after in the Middle East?

Trade and Transportation

  • The Suez Canal

  • The Bosporus Strait

  • The Dardanelles Strait

  • Straits of Hormuz

    • Only waterway access to oilfields of Kuwait

Plains and Highlands

  • Arabian peninsula covered in barren plains

    • Wadis=wet weather riverbeds
    • Hejaz Mountains
    • Nomadic lifestyles in search of water
  • Iran = plateau surrounded by mountains

  • Anatolian peninsula = plateau

  • Northern plain of Afghanistan

    • Adequate water resources and rainfall
    • Surrounded by high mountains


  • Afghanistan isolated by mountain ranges of Hindu Kush

  • Zagros Mountains isolate Iran from rest of Southwest Asia

  • Elburz Mountains cut off the Caspian Sea from Iran

  • Taurus Mountains isolate Turkey

  • Importance of water routes

Take Five

  • Why do you think Afghanistan makes a good training center for terrorists? Why is it difficult for U.S. troops to locate them?


Afghanistan Terrorists

  • Osama Bin

  • Laden

Rivers and Other Bodies of Water

Bodies of Water in the Middle East

  • Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

    • Fertile Crescent
  • Jordan River

    • Provides water for region
    • Provides a boundary between Israel & Jordan
  • Dead Sea

    • High salt concentration
    • Only bacteria lives here

Fertile Crescent

Dead Sea

The “Bus”…only ours was red!

In Class Assignment

  • Work in assigned groups to create an informational report (2-5 minutes) which you will report to the class.

  • Your report will be based upon a specific country in Southwest Asia and will discuss the specific needs of your country in terms of its landforms, climate and natural resources. What advantages does your country have and what disadvantages does your country have.

  • Everyone needs a copy to place in your portfolios

Take Five…

  • What is the #1 resource in Southwest Asia?

Natural Resources of Southwest Asia

  • The region’s most abundant resource = oil

  • & natural gas fields

  • ½ the world’s oil reserves are located in Southwest Asia

  • Water is a very valuable resource

  • Hydroelectric power

  • Conservation in some arid regions

  • Other resources: coal, metallic minerals, salt

Chp 2: Climate and Vegetation

  • Arid lands

    • Most of SW Asia receives less than 18 inches of water a year
    • Dry terrain
    • Plant and animal life that can exist on limited water resources

Take Five…

  • How do conditions in the desert restrict movement?

Deserts Limit Movement

  • 2 Types of Deserts: Sand and Salt

  • Rub al-Khali, An-Nafud, Syrian & Negev (Sand deserts)

    • Temperatures reaching 150 degrees in the summer
    • Can go 10 years without rain
    • Some scattered oasis
  • Dasht-e-Kavir & Dasht-e-Lut (Salt deserts)

    • High mountains block rain and dry winds increase evaporation



Semiarid Lands

  • Regions that have enough rainfall to support the growing of grass and other vegetation

Coastal Lands

  • Areas along the Mediterranean Coast have a climate that is hot in the summer and rainy in the winter

    • Citrus fruits, olives and vegetables

Olive Farm

Take Five…

  • Complete the map skills questions on pg. 494.

Sec 3: Human Environment Interaction

  • The Importance of Water

    • Not enough fresh water supplies
    • Not enough consistent rainfall
    • Problem with finding and storing water

So…why not import fresh water?

Wally Points…

  • So…if you build a dam to create hydroelectricity and provide water what’s wrong with this idea? Problems?

National Water Carrier Project

  • Potential political disputes because the rivers flow through numerous countries

  • Project first began in 1964

    • 80% irrigation & 20% drinking water
    • Now 20% irrigation & 80% drinking water
      • Population growth, domestic use
  • Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)=Israel agreed to provide 50 million cubic meters of water to Jordan each year

National Water Carrier Project

Take Five…

  • Make a chart comparing the different types of water resources on pg 496

Modern Water Technology

  • Drip irrigation

  • Desalinization

  • Treatment of wastewater

  • Fossil water

Take Five…

  • Complete the Skill Builder questions on pg 498

Oil from the Sand

  • SW Asia has ½ of the world’s production of petroleum

  • Over time, pressure builds and heat transforms decayed plant and animal life into hydrocarbons

  • Oil & natural gas are trapped inside of rocks beneath the earth’s surface

    • The more porous the rock, the more deposits

Exploration of Natural Resources

  • 1908 in Persia (Iran)

  • 1938 more oil discovered in Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf

  • 1948-al-Ghawar—world’s largest oil fields

  • ¼ of all of Saudi Arabia’s oil

Risks of Transporting Oil

  • Crude oil—not processed petroleum

  • Must be transported to a refinery

    • Pipelines
    • Ports for transport
    • Oil spills
      • 1991 Persian Gulf—oil storage supplies were destroyed during the Persian Gulf War
      • Exxon Valdes in Alaska

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