The Tindouf Basin is a major sedimentary basin in West Africa, to the south of the little Atlas region, Morocco. It stretches from west to east about 700 kilometres (430 mi) and covers about 100,000 square kilometres (39,000 sq mi), mostly in Algeria but with a western extension into Morocco and Western Sahara.
In the Ordovician period (490 Ma to 445 Ma) the area was an embayment sloping down from the West African craton into the Tethys Ocean. It became a closed basin in the Late Carboniferous (320 Ma to 300 Ma). The basin has a steep northern edge against the Anti Atlas and more gently sloping southern edge. The basin is filled with up to 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) of sediment from the Cambrian and Carboniferous ageas. These marine formations are overlain by a continental Cretaceous and Pliocene Hamada cover.
The basin may have potential for oil and/or gas production, but has been largely unexplored.
Morocco spans from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean on the north and the west respectively, into large mountainous areas in the interior, to the Sahara desert in the far south. Morocco is a Northern African country, located in the extreme northwest of Africa on the edge of continental Europe. The Strait of Gibraltar separates Spain from Morocco with a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) span of water. Morocco borders the North Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the western Mediterranean Sea to the north.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighboring Morocco. Its surface area amounts to 266,000 square kilometres (103,000 sq mi). It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of which nearly 40% live in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.
Western Sahara is a territory in Northern Africa, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, Morocco proper, Algeria, and Mauritania. Geographic coordinates:
All data about demographic information regarding Western Sahara is extremely error prone, regardless of source. Most countries take censuses every ten years, and some every five in order to stay abreast of change and miscounts; the last count was conducted in 1970, and even that data by colonial Spain is considered unreliable due to large nomadic populations.
Transport in Western Sahara is very limited by sea, road and air with camels being the primary means of transport in the desert area. Road transport by buses remain the major mode of transportation. The longest conveyor belt in the world is 100 kilometres (62 mi) long, from the phosphate mines of Bu Craa to the coast south of Laayoune. The belt moves about 2,000 metric tons of rock containing phosphate every hour from the mines to El-Aaiun, where it is loaded and shipped.
Algeria comprises 2,381,741 square kilometers of land, more than four-fifths of which is desert, in northern Africa, between Morocco and Tunisia. It is the largest country in Africa. Its Arabic name, Al Jazair, derives from the name of the capital Algiers, after the small islands formerly found in its harbor. It has a long Mediterranean coastline. The northern portion, an area of mountains, valleys, and plateaus between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert, forms an integral part of the section of North Africa known as the Maghreb. This area includes Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya.
The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. It stretches around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The range's highest peak is Toubkal, which is in central Morocco, with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft). The Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations. The terms for 'mountain' are adrar and adras in some Berber languages. These terms are believed to be cognates of the toponym Atlas. The mountains are also home to a number of animals and plants which are mostly found within Africa but some of which can be found in Europe. Many of these species are endangered and a few are already extinct.
Cape Juby is a cape on the coast of southern Morocco, near the border with Western Sahara, directly east of the Canary Islands.
The Sahara is a desert on the African continent. With an area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi), it is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of Antarctica and the Arctic.
The Maghreb, also known as Northwest Africa, the Arab Maghreb, and historically as "TheBarbary coast", is the western part of North Africa and the Arab World. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The Maghreb also includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. As of 2018, the region had a population of over 100 million people.
Smara is a city in the Moroccan-controlled part of Western Sahara, with a population of 57,035 recorded in the 2014 Moroccan census. It is served by Smara Airport and Smara bus station.
The Sahrawi, or Saharawi people, are the people living in the western part of the Sahara desert which includes Western Sahara, southern Morocco, much of Mauritania and the extreme southwest of Algeria.
Tindouf, also written Tinduf, is the westernmost province of Algeria, having a population of 58,193 as of the 2008 census. Its population in reality could be as high as 160,000 because of the Sahrawi refugee camps. Despite the barren landscape, Tindouf is a resource-rich province, with important quantities of iron ore located in the Gara Djebilet area close to the border with Mauritania. Prior to Algerian independence, the area served as a strongpoint of several tribes of the nomadic Reguibat confederation.
The Free Zone or Liberated Territories is a term used by the Polisario Front government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a partially recognized de facto sovereign state in the western Maghreb, to describe the part of Western Sahara that lies to the east of a 2,200-kilometre (1,400 mi) border wall flanked by a minefield, often referred as the Berm, and to the west and north of the borders with Algeria and Mauritania, respectively. It is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, as opposed to the area to the west of the Berm, which is controlled by Morocco as part of its Southern Provinces. Both states claim the entirety of Western Sahara as their territory.
Tindouf is the main town, and a commune in Tindouf Province, Algeria, close to the Mauritanian, Western Saharan and Moroccan borders. The commune has population of around 160,000 but the census and population estimates do not count the Sahrawi refugees making the population as of the 2008 census 45,966, up from 25,266 in 1998, and an annual population growth rate of 6.3%.
The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991. Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.
The Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, are a collection of refugee camps set up in the Tindouf Province, Algeria in 1975–76 for Sahrawi refugees fleeing from Moroccan forces, who advanced through Western Sahara during the Western Sahara War. With most of the original refugees still living in the camps, the situation is among the most protracted in the world.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic:
Sahrawi refugees refers to the refugees of the Western Sahara War (1975–1991) and their descendants, who are still mostly populating the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria.
The geology of Morocco formed beginning up to two billion years ago, in the Paleoproterozoic and potentially even earlier. It was affected by the Pan-African orogeny, although the later Hercynian orogeny produced fewer changes and left the Maseta Domain, a large area of remnant Paleozoic massifs. During the Paleozoic, extensive sedimentary deposits preserved marine fossils. Throughout the Mesozoic, the rifting apart of Pangaea to form the Atlantic Ocean created basins and fault blocks, which were blanketed in terrestrial and marine sediments—particularly as a major marine transgression flooded much of the region. In the Cenozoic, a microcontinent covered in sedimentary rocks from the Triassic and Cretaceous collided with northern Morocco, forming the Rif region. Morocco has extensive phosphate and salt reserves, as well as resources such as lead, zinc, copper and silver.