Geography Notes

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Geography Notes: Chapter 21, Section I

Southwest Asia consists of a lot of strategic positions

Located on two peninsulas

Located on a tectonic plate

Why there is such diverse landforms in the area

Land bridge connecting Southwest Asia with Asia, Africa, Europe

Golan Heights

1967, war between Syria and Israel

Hilly, plateau overlooking the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee

Has been a sight of conflict for decades

Southwest Asia has an eclectic mixture of landforms

Coastal Plains



Peninsulas and Waterways

Arabian Peninsula

Separated from Africa by the Red Sea

Red Sea covers a rift valley (long thin valley created by separating plates) by the movement of the Arabian plate

Different Mountain ranges that separate it: Zagros, Elburz and Taurus

Persian Gulf is on the East

Anatolia Peninsula

Marks the beginning of the Asian continent

Both peninsulas are on strategic waterways

Arabian Peninsula: Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal

Makes it easy to move goods to Europe and North Africa

Anatolia Peninsula: Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea

Two narrow waterways

Bosporous Strait

Dardenelles Strait

Make it good for trade and transport to Russia and inside Asia

Straits of Hormuz-VERY IMPORTANT

ONLY waterway to huge oil fields in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq

Plains and Highlands

Arabian Peninsula is basically one large plain

Dry, sandy and windy


Wadis: riverbeds that remain dry except during rainy season

Nomadic lives have been able to adapt to harsh conditions


Plateau surrounded by mountains

Isolated, very high

Strong, salty and sandy

Foothills able to produce some crops



Productive for agriculture

Graze animals like sheep and goats

Northern Afghanistan

Well watered agricultural area


Hindu Kush Mountains

Southern Afghanistan

"Frame" southern Asia

Landlocked and mountainous

Makes contact with outside world difficult


Western Iran

Help isolate country


South of Caspian Sea

Prevent easy access by Iran


Separate Turkey from the rest of Southwest Asia


ALMOST completely surrounded by water for vital trade

Tigris and Euphrates

Aka "Fertile Crescent"

Ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans

Valleys fertile, well-watered, good for agriculture

Join at Shatt al Arab

Spreads out and eventually ends up in the Persian Gulf

Jordan River

Near Mount Hermon

Natural boundary between Israel and Jordan

Dead Sea (p.


Landlocked salt lake

Only bacteria can live in the water

Lowest place on the exposed crust



Provides ONE-HALF of the worlds oil resources

Major oil fields on the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq

Natural gas fields close by

Major portion of income comes from oil since the world is so oil reliant

Water=Hydroelectric Power

Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan

Other resources