Lake Chad

lake in Africa

Lake Chad is a large, shallow, endorheic lake in the African Sahel. It has varied in size over the centuries.

Lake Chad
Photograph taken by Apollo 7, October 1968
Map of lake and surrounding region
Coordinates13°0′N 14°0′E / 13.000°N 14.000°E / 13.000; 14.000
Lake typeEndorheic
Primary inflowsChari River
Primary outflowsSoro & Bodélé depressions
Basin countriesChad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria
Surface area1,350 km2 (520 sq mi) (2005) [1]
Average depth1.5 m [2]
Max. depth11 m [3]
Water volume72 km3 (17 cu mi).[3]
Shore length1650 km
Surface elevation278 to 286 metres (912 to 938 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Chad shrank as much as 95% from about 1963 to 1998, but "the 2007 (satellite) image shows significant improvement over previous years".[4] Lake Chad is economically important. It provides water to over 68 million people in the four countries surrounding it: Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. It is on the edge of the Sahara Desert. It is the largest lake in the Chad Basin, the largest drainage basin in Africa.

Fossils of an important extinct hominid were found in the dried lakebed of Lake Chad. This was Sahelanthropus tchadensis. From evidence at the fossil site in Chad, it is thought to have lived about seven million years ago.

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 Odada, Oyebande & Oguntola 2005.
  2. WaterNews 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 World Lakes Database 1983.
  4. According to the Global Resource Information Database of the United Nations Environment Programme.