Geography of Libya

According to allcitycodes, Libya is located between 19° and 33° north latitude and 9° and 26° east longitude. It is washed in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline is poorly dissected, the only major bay is the Greater Sirte (or Sidra, Arab. Surt).
It borders on Egypt and Sudan in the east and southeast, Chad and Niger in the south, Algeria and Tunisia in the west.

More than 9/10 of the territory is occupied by desert and semi-desert spaces of the Sahara (in the east called the Libyan Desert). Plateaus and plains (200-600 m) alternate with basins (up to 131 m below sea level), low (up to 1200 m) mountain ranges and ridges with extinct volcanoes. Only the northern spurs of the Tibesti highlands rise higher in the southeast and extreme south, where the highest point of Libyan territory is located – Bette Peak (2286 m).

Proved reserves of oil – 4130 million tons and natural gas – 1314 billion m3 (at the beginning of 2001, respectively, the first and third largest in Africa) stand out among the mineral wealth. Other resources are poorly explored. It is known about the reserves of iron ore with a volume of approx. 5.7 billion tons, magnesia (total reserves 7.5 million tons) and potassium (1.6 million tons) salts, the presence of phosphates, gypsum and raw materials for cement production, as well as other minerals.

The soil cover is almost absent in most of the territory, which is occupied by lifeless spaces, mainly sandy, clayey, pebble-rubbly or stony and salt marshes. The exceptions are a narrow (8-15 km wide) strip on the coastal plains of the north, except for its middle part along the Gulf of Sirte, as well as oases in deep regions, usually low-lying, covered with fertile silty deposits. Only in the extreme east in Cyrenaica and in the west in Tripolitania does this fertile zone expand in places up to 40 km.

A desert tropical climate prevails with sharp seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations. In summer, daytime temperatures usually exceed +40 °С, maximum temperatures exceed +50 °С; in winter, during the day + 25-30 ° C, and at night 0 ° C and below. On the Tibesti night frosts reach -15 °C. Central Libya is one of the regions of the planet with minimal rainfall. Usually every 5-6 years the country is affected by droughts lasting 1-2 years. Only along the eastern and western coasts do zones of a milder climate of dry Mediterranean subtropics stretch 15-20 km wide, and further 20 km further into the territory – steppes.

There are no rivers with a constant flow and natural freshwater lakes. There are numerous wadis (wadis) – dry channels, sometimes filled with rain streams from October to March. Groundwater reserves are great, feeding springs and fertile oases.

In humid places near the coasts, small areas of wild forests, thickets of Phoenician juniper, maquis (dense evergreen shrubs and low trees – myrtle, oleander, pistachio), groves of Aleppo pine, acacia, sycamore (fig tree, or fig), tamarisk, olive, carob wood, cedar, cypress, holm oak, Euphrates poplar. Around the cities, plantations of eucalyptus, palm, pine, fruit trees and shrubs are expanding: pomegranate, apricot, citrus, olive, banana, almond, grape, laurel. It is mainly cultivated agricultural land, together with land in the interior oases, barely reaching 1.9% of the Libyan territory.

The animal world is not diverse. Reptiles (snakes, lizards), insects and arachnids (scorpions, phalanges) predominate; from mammals – rodents, hares are less common, from predators – jackals, hyenas, red foxes, fenech (small representatives of wolves weighing up to 1.5 kg); wild boars are more common in the north, artiodactyls – antelopes, gazelles – in the extreme south. Birds (pigeons, swallows, crows, eagles, falcons, vultures) nest more in oases, mountainous areas and seaside. Many migratory birds from European countries also winter there. Coastal waters are rich – more than 300 species of fish, including commercial fish (anchovy, mackerel, tuna, horse mackerel, sardine, eel), as well as valuable types of sponges.

The population of Libya

The average annual natural population growth, according to UN statistics, was 4.2% in 1970–90 and 2.1% in 1991–2000. Birth rate 27.6%, mortality 3.5%, infant mortality 27.9 pers. per 1000 newborns, average life expectancy 75.9 years (2002). Age structure of the population: 0-14 years old – 35%, 15-64 years old – 61%, 65 years and older – 4%. The average ratio of men and women is 1.06. Urban population 88% (2000). Literacy (% of residents over 15 who can read) 76.2 (1995).

Libyan Arabs predominate everywhere (more than 80% of the number of citizens) – the descendants of nomadic settlers (mainly 11th century) from the central part of the Arabian Peninsula. The indigenous inhabitants of the country are the Berbers, from one of the ancient tribes of which its name originated, and the Tuareg barely make up 6-7% of the population, mainly in the south and southwest, where small representatives of the Negroid race also live – tubu and hausa. There are many temporary residents in Libya (up to 663,000, 2002 estimate)—mostly working immigrants from Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, and other countries. The number and national composition of visitors changed markedly depending on the political and economic situation in the 1990s.

The only official language, Arabic, is native to the vast majority of indigenous Libyans. A minority, mainly the Berbers, are bilingual, although their writing also uses the Arabic alphabet. English and Italian are widely spoken in the cities.

The state religion is Islam. He is confessed by St. 99% of the population. Few Christians, mostly Catholics (almost exclusively Western Europeans and very rarely local Berbers and Arabs). More than 2/3 of Muslims are Sunnis, followers of the Maliki madhhab, one of the four “orthodox” religious and legal schools. Up to 1/3 of the Libyans are committed to the teachings of the Senusites.

Geography of Libya