Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression

The Afar Depression is a geological depression in the Horn Of Africa, where it overlaps Eritrea, the Afar region of Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Afar is well known as one of the cradles of Hominids, containing the middle Awash, site of many fossil hominid discoveries; Gona, site of the world’s oldest stone tools; and Hadar, site of Lucy, the fossilized specimen of Australopithecus Afarensis.

The Afar Depression includes the Danakil desert and the lowest point in Africa, lake Asal Dallol is also part of the Depression, one of the hottest places year-round anywhere an Earth. The climate varies from around 25 °C during the rainy season to 48 °C during the fry season. Only the Awash River flows into the depression, where it ends in a chain of lakes that increase in salinity.\r\n

Environment

The lowlands of the Afar Depression are dominated by heat and drought. There is no rain for most of the year, and yearly rainfall averages range from 100 to 200 millimetres , with less rain falling closer to the coast. The Awash River, flowing North-Eastward through southern Afar, provides a narrow green belt and enables life for the flora and fauna in the area and for the Afars. The nomadic people living in the Danakil Depression. About 128 kilometres from the Red Sea, the Awash ends in a chain of salt lakes, where its water evaporates as quickly as it is supplied. About 1200 Km of the Danakil Depression is covered by salt, and salt mining is still a major source of income for many Afar tribes.