in the Middle of the Sahara rising like an oasis: The mountains of the high mountains and Aïr in the Central Niger. In contrast to the Rest of the Sahara with a climate that is otherwise for the Sahel, typically with regular rainfall.

While the mountain chain around the desert sand towers up to 400 feet high, life on the rock formations, rare animals and plants. Even trees thrive on the sandy and dry soil such as desert dates, Doumpalmen and toothbrush trees, whose fruits are suitable for the dental care, hence the Name.

This true-color recording, published by the Nasa, now, comes from the “Operational Land Imager” on the American satellite “Landsat 8” and was recorded at the end of October. The mountain chain is one of the largest ring structures in the world – a rare phenomenon that is caused by volcanic activity.


Until today, summit juts out of the solid, crossed by deep valleys. Overall, the mountains extend over an area of 84,000 square kilometers. The highest elevations of the Niger are to be found here, like the more than 2000-metre high Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès.

Fiery birth

The emergence of the high mountains that stretches back billions of years in time to the Precambrian, the first age of the earth. It was a lot of volcanoes. Your Magma filled in today’s Niger pre-existing cracks and caves in the ground.

The annular-shaped rock formations, the mountains are today, arise when a magma chamber collapses and a circular gap, is filled again later on with Magma. Because the earth’s crust is constantly in motion, lifted the magma structure with the time and formed the present mountain chain.

In the South of the mountain range lies the so-called dinosaur graveyard in the Sahara, where countless bones of the giants were discovered. The Aïr mountains, together with the adjacent nature reserve and Ténéré Natural is one of the largest protection of Africa areas and is since 1991 a Unesco world heritage site. Since the Tuareg uprisings, only a year later, the entire Region is at risk.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.