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Lake Chad Evaporation 1963 to 1997

Located on the edge of the Sahara and bordering four countries--Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger--the immense area of this land locked lake has nearly disappeared in recent years. Persistent drought has caused the lake to drop from its former sixth place position in the list of world's largest lakes; it is now one tenth its former size.

The basin of the lake is not naturally deep, so the surface area of the lake tended to spread out, keeping the total depth to little more 23 feet (7 meters). In recent years, rainfall patterns have begun to change, and tributaries to Lake Chad have not been refilling the basin as rapidly as they used to. The lush, productive flora and fauna fed by the wetlands of the shallow lake have suffered as a result.

This has led to significant changes for various communities of people that live in the vicinity of the Lake. While for some the now exposed lake bed has enabled new land to be cultivated, much of the available fresh water that might have been used for irrigation is no longer dependable. As rainfall rates appear to be declining year after year, people living nearby develop even greater dependence on the lake, draining it even faster.

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Comparison of Lake Chad in 1963, 1973, 1987, and 1997.    Comparison of Lake Chad in 1963, 1973, 1987, and 1997.
Duration: 22.6 seconds
Available formats:
  320x240     MPEG-1   2 MB
  320x240     X-FLV       779 KB
  720x480     DV             77 MB
  640x480     MPEG       4 MB
  720x480     PNG           455 KB
  320x180     PNG           51 KB
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Lake Chad in 1963    Lake Chad in 1963

Available formats:
  2880 x 1944     TIFF       4 MB

Lake Chad in 1997    Lake Chad in 1997

Available formats:
  2880 x 1944     TIFF       4 MB

Video slate image reads,    Video slate image reads, "Lake Chad Evaporation
1963 to 1997

Available formats:
  720 x 528         JPEG   189 KB

Short URL to This Page:
Animation Number:2064
Animator:Joycelyn Thomson (NASA/GSFC) (Lead)
Scientist:Michael Coe (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Landsat-4/TM (1987)
 Landsat-1/MSS (1973)
 Landsat-5/TM (1997)
Series:Lake Chad Evaporation
 Agriculture Animations - Land Use Change
Video:SVS2001-0005 *
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientific Visualization Studio
DLESE >> Agricultural science
DLESE >> Environmental science
DLESE >> Hydrology
DLESE >> Natural hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Evaporation
GCMD >> Location >> Lake Chad
GCMD >> Location >> Africa

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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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