Nile River

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The Nile is 4,184 miles long and is the longest river in the world.  It is located in Africa and according to River Nile Facts runs through nine countries beginning as far south as Kenya.  These nine countries economically depend on the Nile.  In Kenya the Nile perch is an important industry (Nile perch – marketing success or ecological disaster).  The Nile generates most of Ethiopia’s hydropower potential (NGO News Africa)

According to the University of Texas in Dallas, Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile, while the source of the White Nile lies deep within Central Africa.  Every summer Lake Tana floods from June to September, and feeds the Blue Nile. This is extremely important because during this time erosion and transportation of the fertile silt occurs. The white and blue Nile join in the country of Suddan, and continues flowing as one Nile towards the Nile Delta.

Studies have shown that through millions of years, the Nile River gradually changed its location and size.  The river flows northward from the mountains in the south and as it passes through formations of hard igneous rock, creates waterfalls and rapids.   The Nile’ most important feature is its Delta, in the north of Egypt.

Studies have found evidence that the geological tremors that formed the Red Sea basin possibly caused a series of furrows, and basins integrated to the current valley region.   In addition, indications exist that track the Nile to the time of evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea. Since then the river has had five main phases of progression during Eonile, Paleonile, and three Pleistocene eras: Protonile, Prenile, and Neonile. The older deposits are impossible to differentiate from those of the present Nile.  Interestingly, the Paleonile and Pleistocene periods are characterized by marked climate changes.  Due to the climate and other geological changes during this time, the Nile stopped flowing northward.  As recorded by well-preserved sedimentary sequences in certain regions, part of present day Nile became part of the main system one to two million years ago.

Composite image showing the Nile River and the delta. Source: NASA.
Composite image showing the Nile River and the delta. Source: NASA.

References for the Nile River

Ancient Egypt online:

Nile perch – marketing success or ecological disaster.  Retrieved on 1/12/2012 from:

NGO News Africa Retrieved on 1/12/2012 from:

The River Nile Retrieved on 1/12/2012 from:




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