Lake Chad

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Lake Chad
Lake Chad from Apollo 7.jpg
Photograph taken by Apollo 7, October 1968
Lakechad map.png
Map of lake and surrounding region
Coordinates 13°0′N 14°0′E / 13.000°N 14.000°E / 13.000; 14.000Coordinates: 13°0′N 14°0′E / 13.000°N 14.000°E / 13.000; 14.000
Lake type Endorheic
Primary inflows Chari River
Primary outflows Soro & Bodélé depressions
Basin countries Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria
Surface area 1,350 km2 (520 sq mi) (2005) [1]
Average depth 1.5 m [2]
Max. depth 11 m [3]
Water volume 72 km3 (17 cu mi).[3]
Shore length1 650 km
Surface elevation 278 to 286 metres (912 to 938 ft)
References [1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.


Lake Chad is a large, shallow, endorheic lake in the African Sahel. It has varied in size over the centuries.

Lake Chad shrank as much as 95% from about 1963 to 1998, but "the 2007 (satellite) image shows significant improvement over previous years".[4] Lake Chad is economically important. It provides water to over 68 million people in the four countries surrounding it: Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. It is on the edge of the Sahara Desert. It is the largest lake in the Chad Basin, the largest drainage basin in Africa.

Fossils of an important extinct hominid were found in the dried lakebed of Lake Chad. This was Sahelanthropus tchadensis. From evidence at the fossil site in Chad, it is thought to have lived about seven million years ago.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Odada, Oyebande & Oguntola 2005.
  2. WaterNews 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 World Lakes Database 1983.
  4. According to the Global Resource Information Database of the United Nations Environment Programme.