Oasis - Wikipedia
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For the English band, see Oasis (band). For other uses, see Oasis (disambiguation).
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Oasis in the Libyan part of the Sahara
In geography, an oasis (/oʊˈeɪsɪs/; plural: oases /oʊˈeɪsiːz/) is an isolated area in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source, such as a pond or small lake. Oases also provide habitat for animals and even humans if the area is big enough.
3 Historical significance
4 Growing plants
6 See also
9 External links
The word oasis came into English via Latin: oasis from Ancient Greek: ὄασις óasis, which in turn is a direct borrowing from Demotic Egyptian. The word for oasis in the later attested Coptic language (the descendant of Demotic Egyptian) is wahe or ouahe which means a "dwelling place".
Oases are made fertile when sources of freshwater, such as underground rivers or aquifers, irrigate the surface naturally or via man-made wells. Oases can vary in size from about 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) to much larger areas that can support many farms.
Rain showers provide subterranean water to sustain natural oases, such as the Tuat. Substrata of impermeable rock and stone can trap water and retain it in pockets, or on long faulting subsurface ridges or volcanic dikes water can collect and percolate to the surface. Any incidence of water is then used by migrating birds, which also pass seeds with their droppings which will grow at the water's edge forming an oasis. It can also be used to plant crops.
The location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas; caravans must travel via oases so that supplies of water and food can be replenished. Thus, political or military control of an oasis has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular route. For example, the oases of Awjila, Ghadames, and Kufra, situated in modern-day Libya, have at various times been vital to both North-South and East-West trade in the Sahara Desert.
People who live in an oasis must manage land and water use carefully; fields must be irrigated to grow plants like apricots, dates, figs, and olives. The most important plant in an oasis is the date palm, which forms the upper layer. These palm trees provide shade for smaller trees like peach trees, which form the middle layer. By growing plants in different layers, the farmers make best use of the soil and water. Many vegetables are also grown and some cereals, such as barley, millet, and wheat, are grown where there is more moisture.
Al Ain Oasis in the city of Al Ain, Arabian Peninsula
Taghit in Algeria, North Africa
Ein Gedi in Israel, Middle East
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge in Utah, North America
Great Man-Made River – the world's largest irrigation project; developed in Libya to connect cities with fossil water.
^ Douglas Harper. "Etymonline - Origin of 'Oasis'". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
^ Society, National Geographic (2011-06-10). "oasis". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
^ "AFRICA - Explore the Regions - Sahara". www.thirteen.org. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
^ a b "Oasis | geological feature". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
(in French) référence: Jardins au désert (Vincent Battesti)|Battesti (Vincent), Jardins au désert, Evolution des pratiques et savoirs oasiens, Jérid tunisien, Paris, Éditions IRD, coll. À travers champs, 2005, 440 p. ISBN 2-7099-1564-2 Open Archives: book in free access / in French
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
The dictionary definition of oasis at Wiktionary
A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia
Clean Water Act
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Flooded grasslands and savannas
Freshwater swamp forest
Peat swamp forest
Salt pannes and pools
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
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