In geology, a chott or shott (/ˈʃɒt/; Arabic: شط‎, translit. šaṭṭ, lit. 'bank, coast') is a salt lake in Africa's Maghreb that stays dry for much of the year but receives some water in the winter. The elevation of a chott surface is controlled by the position of the water table and capillary fringe, with sediment deflation occurring when the water table falls and sediment accumulation occurring when the water table rises.[1] They are formed—within variable shores—by the spring thaw from the Atlas mountain range, along with occasional rainwater or groundwater sources in the Sahara, such as the Bas Saharan Basin.[2][3]

Water sources

The chotts of the Sahara are fed intermittently during periods of infrequent rainfall. They are subject to a high evaporation rate, hence salts eventually accumulate in the surface of the sediment. In fact, annual evaporation rates per year in chotts often exceed 20 times the annual precipitation rate.[3] This salt accumulation can lead chotts to have particularly high albedo, albeit with comparable variability as well.[3] While evaporite deposition predominates on chotts, in more humid climatic periods, layers of mud can be deposited on the chott surface. When near a source of loose sand, aeolian deposition can also play a role in the sedimentary deposition on the chott surface.[4]

Sahara Sea

As many lie below sea level, the chotts of the Sahara were viewed by some European colonialists and engineers as an opportunity to create an inland sea in the Sahara Desert (known by many as the "Sahara Sea") by cutting a canal to the Mediterranean Sea (or in some cases, the Atlantic Ocean). Such a channel would allow water from the sea to flow inland. The hope was that this would facilitate trade and naval warfare, as well as change the climatic conditions of the Sahara.[5]

Analogue to Martian landforms

Chotts have also been studied because they are believed to be an Earth analogue to similar features on the planet Mars. Although there are considerable differences between terrestrial and Martian geology, some features on Mars are also believed to be evaporite basins, and consequently share at least some features of chotts. One example of a suspected Martian evaporite basin is Holden Crater.[4]

List of major chotts

See also


  1. ^ Swezey, C.S., 2003, The role of climate in the creation and destruction of continental stratigraphic records: An example from the northern margin of the Sahara Desert, in Cecil, C.B., and Edgar, N.T., eds., Climate Controls on Stratigraphy: SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication 77, p. 207-225.
  2. ^ Ramdani, Mohammed; Elkhiat, Najat; Flower, Roger J (2010). "Africa: North of Sahara". In Likens, Gene E. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. Lake Ecosystem Ecology. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. ISBN 0123820022. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Laity, Julie J. (2009). Deserts and Desert Environments. Environmental Systems and Global Change Series. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1444300741. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b Komatsu, Goro; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Marinangeli, Lucia; Moersch, Jeffrey E. (2007). "Playa environments on Earth: Possible analogs for Mars". In Chapman, Mary. The Geology of Mars: Evidence from Earth-Based Analogs (5th ed.). Chichester, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521832926. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  5. ^ Spinage, Clive Alfred (2012). African Ecology: Benchmarks and Historical Perspectives. Springer Geography (Illustrated ed.). New York: Springer. ISBN 3642228712. Retrieved 16 December 2012.

Akouda (Arabic: أكودة‎) is a small town located a few kilometres north of Sousse, Tunisia.

Administratively attached to the Sousse Governorate, it is the chief town of a delegation of the same name which in 2004 had 21,237 inhabitants, with 18,998 for the town itself. Set back from the coast, along the RN1, it is connected to the coast at Chott Meriem.

Bill Chott

Bill Chott (born July 23, 1969) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Principal Hershel Laritate on the Disney Channel Original Series Wizards of Waverly Place.

Chott, Algeria

Chott is a village in the commune of Ain Beida, in Sidi Khouiled District, Ouargla Province, Algeria. The village is located 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) north of Ain Beida and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the provincial capital Ouargla.

Chott Ech Chergui

Chott Ech Chergui (Arabic: شط الشرقي‎) is a large endorheic salt lake in Saïda Province, northwestern Algeria. It is located at 34.35°N 0.5°E / 34.35; 0.5 in the level terrain of the Hautes Plaines region between the Tell Atlas and the Saharan Atlas and is one of the largest lakes in Algeria.

Chott Melrhir

Chott Melrhir (Arabic: شط ملغيغ‎) also known as Chott Melghir or Chott Melhir is an endorheic salt lake in northeastern Algeria. It the westernmost part of a series of depressions, which extend from the Gulf of Gabès into the Sahara. They were created between Miocene and Early Pleistocene as a result of compression accompanying the formation of the Atlas Mountains. With the maximum area of about 6,700 km2 (2,600 sq mi), Chott Melrhir is the largest lake in Algeria. It lies almost entirely below the sea level and contains the lowest point in Algeria, −40 meters (−130 feet). Its size varies over the year and is usually larger than 130 km (81 mi) from east to west. The nearby cities are Biskra (60 km north-east), El Oued and Touggourt (85 km south).

Chott el Djerid

Chott el Djerid (Arabic: شط الجريد‎ Šoṭṭ el-Jarīd) also spelled Sciott Gerid and Shott el Jerid, is a large endorheic salt lake in southern Tunisia. The name can be translated from the Arabic into English as "Lagoon of the Land of Palms".

Chott el Fejej

Chott el Fejej, also known as Chott el Fedjedj and Chott el Fejaj, is a long, narrow inlet of the endorheic salt lake Chott el Djerid in southern Tunisia.

Chott el Hodna

The Chott el Hodna (Arabic: شط الحضنة‎) is a very shallow saline lake in Algeria. It is located within an endorheic basin in the Hodna region, towards the eastern end of the Hautes Plaines. The Chott el Hodna includes seasonal brackish and saline pools and marshes, but the central zone of the lake is characterized by a complete absence of vegetation.

J. Despois argues that the Chott el Hodna is not a proper Chott, but a Sebkha.


Degache (Arabic: دقاش‎), also spelled Degueche, is a Tunisian town and commune situated in the region of Djerid, and part of Tozeur Governorate. It had a population of 14,332 in 2014, and is the biggest town of a délégation bearing its name.

El Golâa

El Golâa (Arabic: القلعة‎ Al Qal'ah) is a village in southern Tunisia. It is located southeast of Chott el Djerid a few miles north of Douz in the region of Nefzaoua.

It is administratively attached to the Kebili Governorate, Tunisia. As of 2014, it had a population of 7,912.Like many villages and towns surrounding its name provides information on the site. Here, El Golâa means "citadel" (like its namesake in the south of the Algeria). Indeed, the population of El Golâa originally occupied a high point relative to the plain surrounding. Estimated at about 700 people at the end of the nineteenth century, it has steadily expanded its area of Habitat to hold down the hill and then the surrounding plain. As shown in the photo of the village, it remains at the top of the Hill as one mosques of the village (of which there are the minaret) and a public garden.

Given the absence of written sources, first-hand, it is difficult to define precisely the origins of the population of El Golâa. Several competing narratives about the origin and descent of Guelaouas (so that the villagers are called).

Hammam Chott

Hammam Chott is a town and commune in the Ben Arous Governorate, Tunisia. It is located 20 kilometers from the capital, Tunis, in the southern suburbs. It is a popular seaside resort town.

On 1 October 1985, Hammam Chott was bombarded by the Israeli Air Force in Operation Wooden Leg.


Kebili (Arabic: ڨبلي‎ Gbillī) is a town in the south of Tunisia and one of the main cities in the Nefzaoua region. It is located south of the Chott el-Jerid. It is the capital of the Kebili Governorate.

List of rivers of Algeria

This is a list of rivers in Algeria. This list is arranged west to east by drainage basin, with respective tributaries indented under each larger stream's name.

M'Sila Province

M'Sila (also spelled Msila, M'sila or MSila) (Arabic: المسيلة‎ al-Masīla, Berber languages: ⵎⵙⵉⵍⴰ Msila) is a province (wilaya) of northern Algeria. It has a population of 1 million people and an area of 18,718 km², while its capital, also called M'sila, home to M'Sila University, has a population of about 100,000. Some localities in this wilaya are Bou Saada and Maadid. Chott El Hodna, a salt lake, crosses into M'Sila. However, most of the region is semi-arid and undeveloped.

M'Sila is primarily known for its farming.

Additionally, M'Sila was the location of the first village constructed as part of a government-run program to transition nomadic Algerians to sedentary life using local materials. The village, now complete, was dubbed Maader and consists of houses, public and trading areas, and a mosque.

Nefta, Tunisia

Nefta (or Nafta; 33°53′N 7°53′E) is a municipality and an oasis in Tozeur Governorate north of the Chott el Djerid.

Negrine District

Negrine District is a district of Tébessa Province, Algeria.

The district population in 1998 was 14815 inhabitants and has an elevation of 321m above sea level and is located near the Chott el Ghasa.

The Dana Carvey Show

The Dana Carvey Show is an American sketch comedy television show that aired on ABC during the spring of 1996. Dana Carvey was the host and principal player on the show while Louis C.K. served as head writer.

The show's cast consists heavily of Saturday Night Live and Second City alumni including Carvey, Steve Carell, Bill Chott, Stephen Colbert, Elon Gold, Chris McKinney, Heather Morgan, Peggy Shay, Robert Smigel, and James Stephens III. The writing team also included Louis C.K, Charlie Kaufman, Jon Glaser, Dino Stamatopoulos, Spike Feresten, and Robert Carlock. In addition, Carvey and Smigel's former Saturday Night Live colleague Greg Daniels contributed material for the premiere episode.

The Dana Carvey Show aired only seven of its planned 10 episodes. While the program was short-lived and featured controversial material, it has since been considered ahead of its time. The show is also recognized for providing early exposure to Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, two comedians who would go on to have massive success many years later. In addition, The Dana Carvey Show served as a launchpad for Smigel's series of TV Funhouse cartoons.


Tozeur (Arabic: توزر‎ Tozir, Berber: Tuzer / ⵜⵓⵣⴻⵔ) is an oasis and a city in south west Tunisia. The city is located north-west of Chott el Djerid, in between this Chott and the smaller Chott el Gharsa. It is the capital of the Tozeur Governorate. It was the site of Ancient city and former bishopric Tusuros, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

Tozeur Governorate

Tozeur (Tunisian Arabic: توزر‎ Tauzar) is the westernmost of the 24 governorates (provinces) of Tunisia and as such bordering Algeria. It covers an area of 4,719 km² and has a population of 107,912 (2014 census) making it the least populated province. The capital is Tozeur.

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