Morocco Topography

By | June 25, 2021

Morocco sees itself as a bridge between Europe and Africa. Due to its geostrategic location and its reform policy, Morocco is an important partner country of the EU and Germany. Important fields of action of German-Moroccan cooperation are renewable energies, water, sustainable economic development, environment and governance, as well as migration policy.

Society

Morocco is young: the average age is 29 years (for comparison: Germany 47 years). Almost two thirds of the population lives in cities. Religiously, Morocco is comparatively homogeneous: around 99 percent of the population are Sunni Muslims. In terms of language and culture, Moroccan society shows an impressive diversity.

Everyday life

According to politicsezine, the Moroccan currency is the dirham. The official weekend in Morocco is on Saturday and Sunday. According to Islamic tradition, Friday would actually be day off. On this day, Friday prayer takes place at noon in all mosques in the country. After the prayer, many families like to come together at the round dining table and eat the national dish couscous together.

Topography

Morocco is topographically divided into four large natural areas:

  • the coastal regions in the north and west;
  • the Atlantic region with the Moroccan meseta;
  • the mountainous region with the High and Middle Atlas and the Rif Mountains
  • the transmontane region with the plateaus in the northeastern border area, the anti-Atlas and the basin landscapes on the edge of the Sahara.

The approximately 475 km long Mediterranean coast is mostly steep and rocky, with numerous capes and deep bays. At the mouth of the Moulouya (near the Algerian border, near Oujda) the coastal landscape expands into a basin.

The Atlantic coast is mostly flat, sandy and therefore poorly suited for ports. Larger coastal plains are the Sebou lowlands near Kenitra, the Bougregreg near Rabat and the extensive coastal plains around Casablanca. Inland, the terrain rises to around 450 m above sea level. The wide table landscape is also called the inland meseta or the plateau of Marrakech.

In the south and east the more than 4000 meter high fold mountains of the High and Middle Atlas border the Inner Meseta. The Atlas Mountains are also the climatic divide. The High Atlas stretches in a gentle curve over around 800 km from southwest to northeast. Here are the highest peaks in all of North Africa, including the highest mountain in Morocco, the 4167 m high Jabal Toubkal.

The Middle Atlas connects to the northeast for more than 300 km. In its eastern chain, which slopes steeply to the Moulouya Depression, it also has peaks over 3000 m high, but otherwise has more low mountain ranges. The northern section of the Moroccan Atlas is formed by the Rif, which is up to 2456 m high, a mountain range that extends from the Strait of Gibraltar parallel to the Mediterranean coast to the Moulouya estuary. The longitudinal furrow between the Rif and the Middle Atlas, the “Gate of Taza”, is the most important west-east through valley in Morocco.

East of the Moulouya Valley, which separates the montane from the transmontane region in northern Morocco, the terrain gradually rises to form wide, steppe-like plateaus that lead to the Schotts highlands in Algeria. In the Western Sahara region, a broader coastal plain is followed by sandstone plateaus that rise up to over 350 m, cut up by wadis and covered with dunes, which are also part of the Sahara.

Thanks to its high, wrinkled mountains, Morocco has numerous rivers, some of which carry water all year round. Overall, Morocco has enough water to meet its needs, but deficiencies in the distribution and management of resources mean that individual areas suffer from water scarcity.

The WDR video is a bit shaky, but some pictures are quite impressive – including pictures of monkeys living in the wild in the snow-covered mountains of the Middle Atlas.

Morocco Topography