The Most Interesting Nile River Delta Facts
The Nile Delta Definition
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus used the letter’s name to describe the similarly shaped low-lying plains at the mouth of the Nile River delta in Egypt. The term is now applied to any plain composed of sediment deposited at the mouth of a river. Many of these deltas have triangle shapes.
In fact, the Nile River Delta is a wetland form when rivers discharge their water and sediment into another body of water, such as, an ocean, lake, or river. Deltas can also empty into the land, though this is uncommon.
The Two Sections Of The Delta
Basically, a delta is divided into two sections: subaqueous and subaerial. A delta’s subaqueous zone is located underwater. This is the most sloping section of the delta and contains the best silt. The prodelta is the newest part of the subaqueous delta, located farthest from the river’s mouth.
A delta’s subaerial portion is above water. The lower delta is the subaerial region most influenced by waves and tides. The upper delta is the area most influenced by the river’s flow.
The Nile River Delta Map
The Nile delta ( Lower Egypt), encompasses an area of 9,650 square miles (25,000 sq km). From Cairo to the Mediterranean, the distance is about 100 miles (160 kilometers), with a coastline stretching 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Alexandria to Port Said. The river flows through the delta in seven branches, but its waters are now concentrated in two, the Damietta Branch to the east and the Rosetta Branch to the west.
The brackish lagoons of lakes Mary, Idk, Burullus, and Manzilah cover a large portion of the delta coast. The delta’s conversion to perennial irrigation has enabled it to grow two or three crops per year instead of one across more than half of its total area.
Nile Delta Location
The Nile Delta is a delta in Northern Egypt by the Nile River, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world’s largest river deltas, stretching 240 kilometers from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, and is a rich agricultural region. The delta is about 160 kilometers long from north to south. The Delta starts slightly downstream from Cairo.
The land around the Nile River delta is known as Lower Egypt. The Nile river provided the ancient Egyptians with fertile land where they could grow wheat, papyrus, and flax. The area around the Nile river benefited the soil, making it rich and fertile for agriculture. And, because the Nile river flows close to Egypt’s lower region, the delta will remain rich and fertile for as long as the river flows.
The Nile Cataracts
Basically, The Nile flows 50 miles north of Khartoum until it reaches Sablkah (Sababka), the site of the sixth and highest cataract. The river runs for eight miles through the hills there. Flowing northward at Barbar, the river makes an S-bend in the middle of which it flows southwestward for about 170 miles, from Abamad to Krt and Al-Dabbah (Debba); the fourth cataract is in the middle of this stretch. At the end of this bend, at Dongola, it resumes its northerly flow, passing through the third cataract and flowing into Lake Nasser.
The riverbed alternates between mild stretches and a series of rapids for the 800 miles from the sixth cataract to Lake Nasser. The five famous cataracts are caused by outcroppings of crystalline rocks that cross the course of the Nile. The river is not completely navigable due to these cataracts, but sections between the cataracts are navigable by sailing vessels and river steamers.
Another Nile Cataracts
Actually, Lake Nasser, the world’s second-biggest man-made lake, inundates more than 300 miles of the Nile, including the second cataract near the Egyptian-Sudan border. Its maximum area is 2,600 square miles. The first cataract, below the high dam, was a stone rapid that partially hindered the river’s flow. From the first cataract to Cairo, the Nile runs northward in a narrow flat-bottomed groove, sinuous in outline and generally cut into the limestone plateau, which averages 10 to 14 miles wide and is flanked by scarps that rise to 1,500 feet above the river level.
Nile Delta Ancient Egypt
Why do The majority of Egyptians live along the Nile River and Nile delta?
Ancient Egypt Deltas are extremely important to a region’s human geography. In fact, they are vital for trade and commerce.
The Nile River flooded every year; this flooding was so regular that the ancient Egyptians based their three seasons on it—inundation, growth, and harvest. Agriculture relied on this periodic flooding because it delivered nutrient-rich soil. Food shortages occurred in years when the Nile did not flood because of soil nutrient depletion.
In fact, 95% of Egyptians live near the Nile. Nile canals irrigate crops and cities. The Nile supports fishing and farming. The Nile is a major transit route for millennia. El Qahira (Cairo) summer residents avoid traffic by taking private speed boats, water taxis, or ferries. The Aswân High Dam in Egypt helps calm the river and generate hydroelectric power.