This book focuses on regions for which until now the geomorphology was very poorly studied and relatively unknown. Nevertheless, the landforms and landscapes of the Horn of Africa are highly attractive, diverse and in a few cases unique, since they span very different environments, from highland plateaus and mountains to lowlands (even below sea level) and coastlines with a high degree of diversity and from monsoon to arid climate conditions.
The main topics addressed in the book include the links between the geological evolution and the current large-scale geomorphology of the Horn of Africa; the large differences between the highlands and lowlands climate, river hydrology and their variation through time within a climate change perspective. This part of the world was home to the very first hominids. The landscape in which they lived and evolved throughout the Pleistocene is described in comparison with the arid and inhospitable, though immensely scenic, environment of today.
Perennial and ephemeral rivers with very different morphology, processes and hydrology drain the area and when they are able to reach the sea they substantially contribute to determining the main coast and beach landforms. Their changes through time, induced by both natural and anthropogenic factors are addressed by a couple of case studies. Though the region has few inhabitants they had to struggle to find their livelihood in a land that offers poor resources. This resulted in landscape change and land degradation. Examples of human impact on the landscape are presented at different scales.
This book provides readers interested in geography and geomorphology with essential scientific and educational information on the Landscapes and Landforms of Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia through simple, though scientifically, rigorous texts illustrated with several colour maps and photos. One main prerogative of this book is therefore to give an insight into a region of the world where, for geographical and historical constraints, geomorphological investigation was very limited, thus enriching its intrinsic informative value.
Prof. Paolo Billi has been working at the University of Florence and the University of Ferrara in Italy and closed his academic career at the International Platform for Dryland Research and Education of the University of Tottori in Japan. Prof. Billi’s main research topics include Fluvial Geomorphology, Sediment Transport and Sediment Yield. He carried out his research activities on rivers in Italy and in the Horn of Africa. He is also editor of the Springer volume Landscapes and Landforms of Ethiopia.