Oasis

Oasis

Oases are areas in deserts where water is available.

Geography

Keywords

oasis, desert, Sahara, aquifer, artesian fountain, agriculture, irrigated farming, settlement, boiling, geography

Related items

Scenes

Oasis

  • canal
  • cereal field
  • date plantation
  • village with mud brick buildings
  • grape plantation
  • water pipe
  • banana plantation

Oases are areas in deserts or semideserts where a spring, a permanent stream flowing from the surrounding mountains, or groundwater collected in basins provides the water necessary for vegetation. This allows people to settle there and farm the land. Oasis flora and fauna is richer and more diverse than desert flora and fauna.

Types of oases by location:

Riverside oasis: Formed along rivers crossing the desert. Water is raised from the river to the land by wells and water wheels.

Lakeside oasis: Formed on areas where wind erosion creates depressions down to the level of the water table. The water floods the surface and creates a lake in the basin. Water is raised from the lake to the land by wells and water wheels.

Spring oasis, natural aquifer oasis: Formed on areas where an aquifer reaches the surface naturally, usually at the feet of mountains. Water is conveyed to the land by canals.

Spring oasis, artesian aquifer oasis: Can be formed anywhere with groundwater or an aquifer in reachable depth; water is raised by drilled wells.

Spring oasis, foggara oasis: Formed on areas where underground water is conveyed to settlements and irrigated fields by an underground canal system, often from a distance of several kilometres.

Oasis agriculture is a type of irrigated farming, producing for subsistence or for the markets. It is based on intensive land use, its territorial extent is limited by the means of irrigation. It requires a lot of labour force, which is widely available and plants grown on terraces are difficult to cultivate with machines.

Settlement

  • artesian well
  • lake
  • canal

Date plantation

  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Banana plantation

  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Cereal field

  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Grape plantation

  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Levels of the oasis

  • cereal and vegetable level
  • grape level
  • fruit tree and banana level
  • date palm level

Oasis cutaway

  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Animation

  • canal
  • cereal field
  • date plantation
  • village with mud brick buildings
  • grape plantation
  • water pipe
  • banana plantation
  • cereal and vegetable level
  • grape level
  • fruit tree and banana level
  • date palm level
  • rain
  • underground water
  • artesian well
  • oasis
  • aquitard

Narration

Oases are areas in deserts or semideserts where there is a source of water. Due to the presence of water, oases are distinct from their surrounding wider geo-ecological environment. As a result, people have been able to settle here and diverse plant-animal relationships have emerged.

Water is supplied by a spring, by a permanent stream flowing from the surrounding mountains, or by groundwater collected in basins.
Water from rainfall is accumulated between the impermeable layers of rocks, so aquifers are formed. It is fairly common that the original source of water is distant from the oasis. By drilling the upper impermeable layer, artesian wells are created, which supply the inhabitants with the necessary amount of water.

Oases have specific structures. At the centre of oases is the source of life-giving water. Around the centre there are dwellings and animals pens. The outer parts of oases are occupied by cultivated lands.
Through water canals, water is conveyed to more remote areas, which greatly facilitates irrigation. Oases are usually surrounded by walls, whose main function is to hinder the sand carried by the wind from being piled up there.

Oasis farming is a special form of irrigation farming. Agriculture is very intensive here, because of the restricted space. The flora, made up of climate specific plants, is fairly stratified. The bottom layer of vegetation is represented by cereals and vegetables, the middle layer by vineyards and banana and fruit tree plantations, and the upper layer by dates.

Although oases are located in numerous parts of the world, the African Sahara Desert is, in a traditional sense, the most representative area, in terms of oases. Even though, on the satellite images of the area, the dominant colour is yellow, the green spots of oases stand out.

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