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South-West Asia Agriculture, Mineral resources|
South West Asia is the land of five seas, namely the Mediterranean; Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
This part of Asia had served as a trade route between Africa, Europe and Asia. The influence of western thought and culture is keenly felt to a great extent. The movement of people into and through this region accounts for the complex ethnic composition of its population. South West Asia extends from Iran on the east to Cyrenaica on the west and from Turkey on the north to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan on the south. Except the trans-Soviet route, most of the trade routes pass through this region. Its strategic importance has been recognized because of its petroleum resource. South Western Asian region presents an intricate complexity in culture, admixture of old and modern.
South west Asia is a very important part of the world both culturally and economically today. It had been the seat of cultures religions and political activities in the past too. This region has produced three great religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The land of Tigris and Euphrates has always been fertile and productive and with the economic prosperity this region popularly known as 'Fertile crescent' became the seat of learning and civilization. At present in the 20th century the region is mainly under the influence of Islam. Arab culture is dominant. Exceptionally there are two or three countries which have nothing to do with Arabian culture, but have great love for Islam. Jews and Christians though not sufficiently good in number, their presence cannot be ignored. Israel, though very small in size, is not fear stricken and has defeated its Muslim's adversaries in decisive battles at least two times.
Physio graphically three major divisions can be recognized.
1. Ancient table-land comprising the Arabian plateau,
2. Intermediate zone of faults and rift valleys, and
3. Folded mountains zone, the westward extension of the Himalayan system from pamir knot.
Those ranges enclose the plateaux.
The crystalline rocks are the potential reserve zones of metallic minerals while the intermediate sedimentary formation is of petroleum reserve zone.
Climate: Except along the mountain slopes and Intermontane plateaux, temperature is high throughout the year well above 18°C. The diurnal range is greater than the annual range of temperature. Orographic modifications of temperature is felt over Turkish plateaux and north western Iran. Summer extremes are experienced in Western Iran and interior Arabia, precipitation is mainly due to cyclonic effect. The amount varies from 5 cms. to 25 cms. while interior parts of Arabia and Iran are rainless. Windward slopes of Pontus, Zagros and Elburz mountains show the precipitation range of 50-100 cms. During winter the plateaux of Turkey and Iran may have snow cover.
Rainfall variation is high in the south-40% and above. It decreases towards the north to 15%. The following climatic regions may be identified:
1) Tropical desert type,
2) Interior plateau type, and
3) Modified Mediterranean type
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