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The border area of Mauritania and Senegal in westernmost Africa is an example of both expanding irrigation and desertification. The international border between Mauritania and Senegal is the Senegal River, flowing westward and interrupting the arid lands to the north and south. The regional capital of southwestern Mauritania is Rosso, which is on the north bank of the river, and the town of Richard Toll ("Richard's Field" in the Wolof language) is on the south bank. The effects of a highway, which connects the regional capital Rosso to the national capital Nouakchott, on the desert is seen in the close-up images.


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Sept. 30, 1972, Landsat 1 (path/row 220/49) — Rosso, Mauritania
Oct. 15, 1989, Landsat 5 (path/row 205/49) — Rosso, Mauritania
Nov. 4, 1999, Landsat 7 (path/row 205/49) — Rosso, Mauritania
Nov. 13, 2011, Landsat 5 (path/row 205/49) — Rosso, Mauritania
Jan. 6, 2020, Landsat 8 (path/row 205/49) — Rosso, Mauritania
Jan. 22, 2023, Landsat 9 (path/row 205/49) — Rosso, Mauritania


Additional story information


Abderrahmane, M., 2011, Mauritania—fresh attempt at irrigated agriculture: Inter Press Service, available at…. (Accessed September 18, 2012.)

Mainguet, M., 1994, Desertification—natural background and human mismanagement: Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 314 p.

Toupet, Charles, 1977, Atlas de la Republique Islamique de Mauritainie: Paris, Editions Jeune Afrique, 64 p.

United Nations Environment Programme, 1997, World atlas of desertification (2d ed.): London, Edward Arnold, 182 p.

United Nations Environment Programme, 2008, Mauritania, in Africa—Atlas of our changing environment: Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Environment Programme, p. 236–241.

Gorse, J. E., and Steeds, D. R., 1987, Desertification in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones of west Africa: Washington, D.C., The World Bank, 62 p.

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