Jordan Geography

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

The country is geographically identified with the tabular expanses to the E of the Jordan River, which form an integral part of the vast Syro-Arabian desert and sub-desert region. Overall, Jordan therefore corresponds to an arid and rather monotonous plateau whose continuity is broken, on the western edge, by the reliefs that border the Palestinian tectonic depression; this is the section of the Great Rift Valley (or Syro-African trench) extended from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of ʽAqaba and whose most representative elements, in Jordanian territory, are the Jordan valley or El Ghor, the Dead Sea and the valley of ‘ Wadi ʽArab. Structurally, the region rests on an ancient crystalline base, which sometimes crops out near the Dead Sea, but which is generally covered by sediments (sandstone and limestone) from the Mesozoic; it was affected by the orogenetic upheavals of the Cenozoic, during which the fracture of the Rift Valley was determined, with the consequent release of volcanic magmas. Finally, during the Neozoic, in the periods of greater humidity there was an intense erosion surface of the waters, which engraved ditches and river gorges and favored the formation of decaying materials (red earth) accumulated – also by wind action – in the bottom of the depressions.

Overhanging the Jordanian plateau, ridges or isolated peaks, usually around 1000 m (Tulul el Ashaqif, 1049 m; Tel el Basis, 995 m; Eth Thuleithuwat, 964 m); higher, however, is the rugged edge that falls abruptly over the valleys of the Jordan and the Uadi ʽAraba (Jabal Ramm, 1754 m; Jabal Mabrak, 1728 m; Um el Daraj, 1247 m). Very poor in surface waters, Jordan has its only river in the Jordan, which flows deeply embedded between the mountains of Palestine and those of Transjordan and which receives various tributaries in Jordanian territory including the Yarmuk (on the border with Syria) and Zarqa. The courses, never abundant, are very varied, with strong winter floods and accentuated summer meats; however, thanks to the numerous canalization works, the Jordan represents a notable source of wealth. The climate, determined by the alternating continental and maritime influences, presents transitional characteristics; the aridity is accentuated by proceeding towards the E and towards the S, as the little humidity carried by the Mediterranean air masses is discharged on the western hills. Thus, while in the mountains of Ajlūnfrom 600 to 1000 mm of rainfall per year are recorded and ʽAmmān receives over 400, reaching almost absolute levels of drought in the extreme eastern and southern regions (35 mm per year in AlʽAqabah). In the same way the thermal conditions of continentality are accentuated; while in the western areas with hot summers, but whose excesses are mitigated by the altitude (25 ºC of summer average in ʽAmmān), mild winters occur, in the desert areas the temperature, seasonal and daily variations are more marked.

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

According to localtimezone, the population is made up mostly of Arabs (98%), including a considerable number of Bedouins, nomadic shepherds. A sizeable minority is represented by the Circassians (1%), who emigrated from the Caucasus last century. The density is 67 residents / km², but the population is unbalanced, with a strong difference between the various governorates, and is concentrated in urban areas, where 82.3% of the total resides, and in the most favored from the point of view of climate and water resources. In 1961 the population of Jordan was equal to 1,706,226 residents, Of which approx. half lived in the West Bank and the other half E of the Jordan. In 1999 the total population was 6,482,000 residents, Of which approx. one million residing in the West Bank, the remainder in the territories E of the Jordan-Dead Sea axis. This area, devoid of natural resources and traditionally depressed, has had to endure a significant overpopulation, also considering the presence of Palestinian refugees, poured into the country in successive waves starting from 1948, mostly collected in makeshift fields and on the outskirts of the major centers of the country.

The natural increase is also significant, given by the strong imbalance between the birth rate (29.1 ‰) and death rate (7 ‰). The political events, which have had such a heavy impact on Jordan’s economic and demographic balance, have also had consequences on the settlement level. The centers, which previously had mostly market and political-religious functions, have been the subject of a convulsive and disorderly urbanization. Among the main cities that have experienced strong growth, also due to the huge influx of Palestinian refugees, The natural increase is also significant, given by the strong imbalance between the birth rate (29.1 ‰) and death rate (7 ‰). The political events, which have so heavily affected Jordan’s economic and demographic balance, have also had consequences on the settlement level. The centers, which previously had mostly market and political-religious functions, have been the subject of a convulsive and disorderly urbanization. Among the main cities that have experienced strong growth, also due to the huge influx of Palestinian refugees, The natural increase is also significant, given by the strong imbalance between the birth rate (29.1 ‰) and death rate (7 ‰). The political events, which have so heavily affected Jordan’s economic and demographic balance, have also had consequences on the settlement level. The centers, which previously had mostly market and political-religious functions, have been the subject of a convulsive and disorderly urbanization. Among the main cities that have experienced strong growth, also due to the huge influx of Palestinian refugees, which previously had mostly market and political-religious functions, have been the subject of a convulsive and disorderly urbanization. Among the main cities that have experienced strong growth, also due to the huge influx of Palestinian refugees, which previously had mostly market and political-religious functions, have been the subject of a convulsive and disorderly urbanization. Among the main cities that have experienced strong growth, also due to the huge influx of Palestinian refugees, Amman, Az Zarqa (the second city of the state), Irbid, As Salt, Al Mafraq, Mādabā, Ar-Ramtha.

Jordan Geography