African Great Lakes Region

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Great Lakes (USA), African Great Lakes


The Great Lakes (USA), African Great Lakes, is such a pregnant title. I am using the term “pregnant” to mean that this area of research is so broad. The title is burdened with too much content, and I will be lying if I told us that we could talk about it and be in the know of everything about it in this single essay. In this essay, we are trying to look at the Great Lakes (USA) as one geographic region and the African Great Lakes as the other geographic region. This article will briefly describe the two regions and how they are intertwined to the four spheres of physical geography (Archibald 199). They include biosphere (biomes and exotic species), atmosphere (climate-precipitation, temperature, and seasonal changes), lithosphere (geologic features and their formation), and hydrosphere (major water bodies around), and how human activities directly affect these features either positively or negatively (Fastovich 89). This article will be subdivided into two significant sub-topics for flow purposes: The Great Lakes Region and African Great Lakes Region. Under both subtopics, we shall discuss more their lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, respectively (Ainembabazi 242).

  1. The Great Lakes Region

These are the places surrounding or instead next to the Great Lakes in the USA and Canada. This region is precisely situated in North America. This subtopic will take a deep look at the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere of the region at hand (Archibald 199).


It is majorly about the geological features in this region and how they were formed. Geological features include but are not limited to: mountains, mountain ranges, deserts, plains, escarpments, or coasts. The Huron Mountains are a prominent geologic feature in the great lakes region. The mountains are located in Michigan State (Lauber 499). The Huron Mountains were formed due to high peak remains after a series of erosion over a long time and are still ongoing in this formation. The formation was majorly due to glacial activities leaving behind uplifted granite and metamorphic silicon rocks (Fastovich 89). There are fewer human activities in this region because the Huron Mountain Club, in conjunction with the Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation(HMWF), has taken the initiative to protect the area and conserve it. The HMWF supports the conduction of natural science research to better the area(Takahashi 7).


Summer and winter are the main climatic conditions in the region. Short nights and warm days are experienced during summer because the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun and receives intent heating closely, and for the fact that the sun rises and sets in the north of the equator, day time hours are lengthened(Archibald 199). The Great Lakes Region experiences long nights and cold during the day because the northern hemisphere faces away from the sun’s solar heat. In terms of precipitation in this region, precipitation decreases with increasing distance from moisture sources, mainly the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. The seasonal changes in these areas are spring, summer, winter, and autumn. Long-term climatic changes have led to heavy rainfall and floods (Fastovich 89). It is also a great danger to the great lakes because the snow and ice levels are below average at times.


            Lake Superior is one big water body in this region. It is found in Michigan state. The lake is approximately 560-563 km long, has a width of two hundred and fifty-eight kilometres, 180 meters altitude, and a depth of four hundred and six meters (Archibald 199). Human activities along these regions have heavily been a blow, especially the filling up of some harbours for industrial development hence loss of ecosystem. Industrial degradation direct to the water bodies was a significant threat which has at least been handled recently. Human activities around the lake had led to environmental degradation around the lake due to careless dumping and uncontrolled fishing. Another major threat to the lakes in the region is the diversion of feeder water bodies for lakes, especially Lake Superior (Fastovich 89).


            The great lakes region of eastern North America comprises numerous biomes starting from wildlife (bald eagle, grey wolf, and moose), forested land and vegetation, agricultural lands, and towns. It is mainly in Canada and the United States of America. Animals like the grey wolf, Canada lynx, and beaver are the native breeds; the exotic species are the common reed, reed canary grass, zebra mussels, and spiny water flea. The club shell, Northern Riffleshell, and the Rayed bean are classified as endangered (Archibald 199). The causes for a species to be termed endangered are competition in the niche from exotic species, pollution of the environment, death, trapping, and hunting for recreation (Lauber 499).

  1. African Great Lakes Region

It is a region around, within, and along the Great Rift valley. The four central countries that make up this region are The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. The region enjoys privileges of several lakes, vegetation, and wildlife. Let’s look at its constituents in terms of lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.


      The prominent geologic feature along this region is the Great Rift valley. It is one of the geologic wonders of the world (Hartig 12). The East African Great Rift valley is a depression formed by opposite forces that are pulling down steeply. The process is continuously up to date. The human activities along this feature include tourism which is among the primary source of revenue for the country. Some people have occasionally been building settlements along with this feature and hence cutting the vegetation around it. It means that if the governments of these areas do not handle this matter, then the beauty of this area could be past tense (Takahashi 7).


Green forests and savannah grassland mainly characterize this region. The temperatures in the lowlands are averagely 35 degrees Celsius, but other areas like Lake Turkana are hot and extremely dry (Ainembabazi 242). The region experiences extreme precipitation, humidity, and temperatures but is subdivided into two dry seasons and two wet seasons evenly distributed between November, March, April, and October. Long-term climate change, like irregular rainfall, may destroy forests, food, such as the edible mushrooms in Congo, or lead to no food if there is no rain (Hartig 13). Research is being undertaken to look at how the matter can be restored to normal, especially along the Congo forest.


      Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake in terms of surface area, is located in this region(Archibald 199). Kenya and Uganda share this lake. Human activities along this lake are quickly causing havoc to the lake. During shipping, some people release harmful chemicals to the lake, which causes water animals like fish to die. Disposal of harmful waste products into the water also threatens aquatic life and generally destroys the environment. The lake is among the number one provider of freshwater lake fish like Tilapia. It benefits the economy, and some people channel their water to their farms for small-scale farming (Ainembabazi 242).


The region enjoys a rich natural heritage. To begin with, the lowlands of DRC with thick and green forests, the savannah grasslands, and a series of wildlife like lions, elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, and ostriches(Ainembabazi 245). All these are evenly distributed within the entire region. The lions, zebras, monkeys, and giraffes are among the native animals, while the common carp and the bass are among the exotic species of the region. The Grevy’s zebra, African elephant, African wild dog, black rhino, and the cheetah are among the endangered species reasons being harsh climatic conditions, competition from exotic species, and poaching (Lauber 499).

In conclusion, all four spheres of physical geography can be said to be interdependent (Hartig 23). The lithosphere directly affects the atmosphere because it is the physical activities in the lithosphere that cause the atmosphere-mountainous areas to be generally precipitated. Desert areas are dry and hot. The hydrosphere provides habitat for some biomes like fish and other aquatic life, and in return, birds help in weed control in lakes (Fastovich 89). The two major environmental concerns in the two regions are the complete extinction of some species of animals and plants, and the other major challenge is unpredictable rain patterns or unreliable rains (Lauber 450). The extinction of some species from the earth will mean some countries that depend entirely on tourism as the primary source of revenue may collapse.

On the other hand, unreliable rainfall will lead to hunger strikes in countries where agriculture is the country’s backbone. Efforts are being made to make sure that endangered species of animals are protected. This by terming them as endangered and given top priority in protection rights (Takahashi 5). The issues concerning unreliable rainfall are purely credited to global warming. Concerning the matter, heads of states meet every time with the hope of coming up with an agreement on how our environment can be conserved and everything put back to normal(Lauber 499).















Works cited


Ainembabazi, John Herbert, et al. “Improving the speed of adoption of agricultural      technologies and farm performance through farmer groups: evidence from the Great Lakes region of Africa.” Agricultural economics 48.2 (2017): 241-259.

Archibald, Kevin M., et al. “Migrating birds reorient toward land at dawn over the Great Lakes, USA.” The Auk: Ornithological Advances 134.1 (2017): 193-201.

Fastovich, David, et al. “Deglacial temperature controls on no-analog community         establishment in the Great Lakes Region.” Quaternary Science Reviews 234 (2020): 106245.

Hartig, John H., Gail Krantzberg, and Peter Alsip. “Thirty-five years of restoring Great Lakes Areas of Concern: Gradual progress, hopeful future.” Journal of Great Lakes Research (2020).

Lauber, T. Bruce, et al. “Urban anglers in the Great Lakes region: Fish consumption patterns,              influences, and responses to advisory messages.” Science of the Total Environment 590 (2017): 495-501.

Takahashi, Saki, et al. “The geography of measles vaccination in the African Great Lakes region.” Nature communications 8.1 (2017): 1-9.















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