Atlas Mountains

A series of mountains and plateaus in
northwest Africa extending about 1,500 miles (2,500 km) in
southwest Morocco, northern Algeria, and northern Tunisia.
The highest peak in the Atlas is Jabel Toubkal at 13,665 feet
(4,168 m) in southwest Morocco. The Atlas are dominantly
folded sedimentary rocks uplifted in the Jurassic and related
to the Alpine system of Europe. The Atlas consists of several
ranges separated by fertile lowlands in Morocco, from north
to south including the Rif Atlas, Middle Atlas, High Atlas
(Grand Atlas), and the Anti Atlas. The Algerian Atlas consists
of a series of plateaus including the Tell and Saharan
Atlas rimming the Chotts Plateau, then converging in
Tunisia. The Atlas form a climatic barrier between the
Atlantic and Mediterranean basins and the Sahara, with
rainfall falling on north-facing slopes, but arid conditions
dominating on the rain shadow south-facing slopes. The
Atlas are rich in mineral deposits, including coal, iron, oil,
and phosphates. The area is also used extensively for sheep
grazing, with farming in the more fertile intermountain
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