A Description of the Overall Geomorphology of the Tigrea-Euphrates Catchment – Term Paper Example

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The paper "A Description of the Overall Geomorphology of the Tigrea-Euphrates Catchment" is an excellent example of a term paper on geography. River systems are by their very nature extremely complex systems and a catchment system will normally contain a vast amount of varied landforms. These will often vary according to the position in the river system and the nature of the river itself (Lesschen: 2002:2). The Tigris and Euphrates Tigris Rivers rise in the mountains of eastern Turkey then converge into the sea at the head of the Persian Gulf. The catchment spans from the Syrian region of Karkamisk through Turkey into Cizre then enters Iraq at Faysh Khabur.

From here, it acquires various tributaries such as the Adhaim, the Greater Zap, the Lesser Zap as well as the Diyala from the Zagros Mountains to the east where the Tigris and Euphrates finally join together near Qurna in Iraq (Kaya, 1998). The Tigris-Euphrates catchment system is undoubtedly one of the world's main ecosystems and is rightfully considered to be the cradle of civilization. As such, it has long been a focus of historical and scientific research.

Consequently, a wealth of information has been obtained concerning the soils, environment, fauna, flora, settlement patterns, artifactual history and land use through the use of archaeological, hydrologic, and geomorphologic research. A full assessment of tectonic movement, sea-level oscillation, alluviation, river shifts, and long-term patterns of climatic change has been hampered by a lack of data from Iraq, although important information on some of these processes has been obtained by studying the Persian Gulf. The following discussion will thus focus on providing an overview of this Tigris- Euphrates catchment system by analyzing the various landform types that are contained within it; the geomorphological processes that characterize it; as well as the man-made features that have altered its landscape among other things.

This will be critical in creating an understanding as to the importance of this prominent, historical river catchment system. A). A SUBDIVISION OF THE CATCHMENT INTO LANDFORM TYPES Alluvial Plains: Due to the fact that the waters are greatly silt-laden and the consistent deposition of sediment in the Tigris- Euphrates catchment over several centuries, there are many alluvial plains that do the basin.

There is the Mesopotamian Plain) which is a central flood plain covered by flat-lying alluvium deposited by the interacting Tigris and Euphrates. The plain is surrounded by the alluvial fans resulting from Jezira in the NW, the Hemrin- Pesh- e- Kuh range in the NE and the desert plateau in the SW (Jassim and Goff, 2006: 253). Apart from the Mesopotamian plain, various other alluvial plains dot the basin. These include several in the Diyālá region which is North- East of Baghdad, the Khūzestān plain of Iran which borders Iraq, the alluvial plain south of Samarra and Al- Ramadi as well as the southern alluvial plain.

Within all these alluvial plains, there exists The 7,000 years of irrigation farming on the alluvium have created a complex landscape of natural levees, fossil meanders, abandoned canal systems, and thousands of ancient settlement sites (Al- Uzaym, 2009).

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