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Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser EarthCache

Hidden : 11/13/2007
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The Aswan High Dam is 3,600 m in length, 980 m wide at the base, 40 m wide at the crest and 111 m tall. It contains 43 million m³ of material. At maximum, 11,000 m³ of water can pass through the dam every second. The reservoir, named Lake Nasser, is 550 km long and 35 km at its widest with a surface area of 5,250 km² and holds 111 km³.

Aswan High Dam:

Aswan is a city on the first cataract of the Nile in Egypt. Two dams straddle the river at this point: the newer Aswan High Dam and the older Aswan Dam or Aswan Low Dam.
Without impoundment the River Nile would flood each year during summer, as waters from East Africa flowed down the river. These floods brought nutrients and minerals that made the soil around the Nile fertile and ideal for farming. As the population along the river grew, there came a need to control the flood waters to protect farmland and cotton fields. In a high-water year, the whole crop may be entirely wiped out, while in a low-water year there was widespread drought and famine. The aim of this water project was to prevent the river's flooding, generate electricity and provide water for agriculture. This is a rock-fill Dam.

When the Low Dam almost overflowed in 1946 it was decided that rather than raise the dam a third time, a second dam would be built 6 km upriver (about 4 miles).

Construction began in 1960. The High Dam was completed on July 21, 1970, with the first stage finished in 1964. The reservoir began filling in 1964 while the dam was still under construction and first reached capacity in 1976. The reservoir raised concerns from archaeologists and a rescue operation was begun in 1960 under UNESCO. Sites were to be surveyed and excavated and 24 major monuments were moved to safer locations (see Abu Simbel) or granted to countries that helped with the works (such as the Debod temple in Madrid and the Temple of Dendur in New York).

The dam powers twelve generators each rated at 175 megawatts, producing a hydroelectric output of 2.1 gigawatts. Power generation began in 1967. When the dam first reached peak output it produced around half of Egypt's entire electricity production (about 15% by 1998) and allowed for the connection of most Egyptian villages to use electricity for the first time. The dam mitigated the effects of dangerous floods in 1964 and 1973 and of threatening droughts in 1972–73 and 1983–84. A new fishing industry has been created around Lake Nasser, though it is struggling due to its distance from any significant markets.

Environmental and cultural issues:
Damming the Nile caused a number of environmental issues. It flooded much of lower Nubia and over 90,000 people were displaced. Lake Nasser flooded valuable archaeological sites. The silt which was deposited in the yearly floods, and made the Nile floodplain fertile, is now held behind the dam. Silt deposited in the reservoir is lowering the water storage capacity of Lake Nasser. Poor irrigation practices are waterlogging soils and bringing salt to the surface. Mediterranean fishing declined after the dam was finished because nutrients that used to flow down the Nile to the Mediterranean were trapped behind the dam.

Lake Nasser:

Lake Nasser is a vast reservoir in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Strictly, "Lake Nasser" refers only to the much larger portion of the lake that is in Egyptian territory (83% of the total).

Lake Nasser is currently the largest man-made lake in the world.

To log this cache, you will have to fullfill the following requirements. Send me an email or message through my profile with the answer to the 2 questions and post the required photos with your log.

1) If the maximum amount of water that can pass through the dam every second is 11,000 m³, how much can pass through in one hour?

2) What side of the damn has a higher water level, the upstream or downstream side?

3) On the west side of the dam is a large monument. What is the monument called, and what kind of flower is it representing?

4) (Optional) Take a picture of yourself or your geocaching group on the dam with Lake Nasser in the background, and then another one on the other side of the dam with the Nile River in the background. Post both pictures with your cache log.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)