This immense desert to the west of the Nile spans the area from the Mediterranean Sea southwards to the Sudanese border. Similar to the desert, the peninsula contains mountains in its southern sector that are a geological extension of the Red Sea Hills, the low range along the Red Sea coast that includes Mount Catherine Jabal Katrinah , the country's highest point, at 2, m above sea-level. In the past, flooding of the Nile during the summer provided silt and water to make agriculture possible on land that is otherwise very dry. The government has considered the Western Desert a frontier region and has divided it into two governorates at about the twenty-eighth parallel: Since then, nature and man have closed all but two main outlets: Nile and Nile Delta The Nile Valley and Delta, the most extensive oasis on earth, was created by the world's longest river and its seemingly inexhaustible sources. Agriculture is a key component of the economy in rural areas, though some people are employed in the tourist industry or other non-farm occupations. The Nile delta consists of flat, low-lying areas.
The region's most prominent feature is the easterly chain of rugged mountains, the Red Sea Hills, which extend from the Nile Valley eastward to the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. The average annual deposit of arable soil through the course of the river valley amounted to some nine metres. Lake Nasser's waters fill the area through Lower Nubia Upper Egypt and northern Sudan within the narrow canyon between the cliffs of sandstone and granite created by the flow of the river over many centuries. Researchers have estimated that beneficial silt deposits in the valley began about 10, years ago. Badlands , salt marshes, and salt lakes cover the sparsely inhabited Qattara Depression. During the low-water season, which runs from January to June, the Atbarah shrinks to a number of pools. The abundance of life in the Sinai Peninsula may not be immediately apparent. Measurements of annual flows as low as 1. The Blue Nile has a similar pattern. The Siwa's cliff-hung Temple of Amun was renowned for its oracles for more than 1, years. Many species, mammals especially, but also reptiles and even birds such as owls, are nocturnal. The dams have also affected the Nile Valley's fertility , which was dependent for centuries not only on the water brought to the arable land but also on the materials left by the water. In its 1,km course from Juba to Khartoum , Sudan 's capital, the river descends just 75 m. In the past, flooding of the Nile during the summer provided silt and water to make agriculture possible on land that is otherwise very dry. In , the percentage of Egypt's population employed in agriculture was 33 percent. The fertility and productivity of the land adjacent to the Nile depends largely on the silt deposited by floodwaters. The reduction in annual silt deposits has contributed to rising water tables and increasing soil salinity in the Delta, the erosion of the river's banks in Upper Egypt , and the erosion of the alluvial fan along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. According to historical accounts from the first century AD, seven branches of the Nile once ran through the delta. Escarpments ridges and deep depressions basins exist in several parts of the Western Desert, and no rivers or streams drain into or out of the area. The elevation of Sinai's southern rim is about 1, m. By after all of Sinai was returned to Egypt, the central government divided the peninsula into two governorates. A network of drainage and irrigation canals supplements these remaining outlets. In South Sudan, the White Nile passes through the Sudd , a wide, flat plain covered with swamp vegetation and slows almost to the point of stagnation. Nile and Nile Delta The Nile Valley and Delta, the most extensive oasis on earth, was created by the world's longest river and its seemingly inexhaustible sources. This river has a steeper gradient and therefore flows more swiftly than the White Nile, which it joins at Khartoum. This elevated region has a natural drainage pattern that rarely functions because of insufficient rainfall. The construction of dams on the Nile, particularly the Aswan High Dam, transformed the mighty river into a large and predictable irrigation ditch.
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