Lake Chad in West Africa Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency features Lake Chad in West Africa.
The lake is located in the Sahel, a transition zone between the Sahara Desert in the north and savannas and woodlands in the south.
Lake Chad is the main source of water for over 60 million people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. The name Chad is derived from the Kanuri which means “large expanse of water”. The lake is the remnant of a former inland sea, paleolake Mega-Chad, which existed during the African humid period. At its largest, sometime before 5000 BC, Lake Mega-Chad was the largest of four Saharan paleolakes, and is estimated to have covered an area of 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi), larger than the Caspian Sea is today, and may have extended as far northeast as within 100 km (62 mi) of Faya-Largeau.
Therefore the lowest point on the basin’s rim now stands at about 320 meters above sea level, meaning that even if fills back up to its largest extent it would still be at the most only about 50 meters deep. The presence of African manatees in the inflows of Lake Chad is an evidence of the overflow history, since the manatee is otherwise only in rivers connected to the Atlantic Ocean.
Lake Chad is primarily fed by two rivers, Chari and Logone, which flow northward into the lake.
Video Credit: ESA