High Atlas Mountains

1 min read
High Atlas Mountains Blog Image


The epicenter of the recent devastating earthquake in Morocco was in the High Atlas Mountains, about 71 km southwest of Marrakesh.

About High Atlas Mountains

  • The High Atlas Mountains, often referred to simply as the High Atlas, is a prominent mountain range in North Africa, primarily located in Morocco.
  • Location:
    • The High Atlas Mountains are part of the Atlas Mountain range, which stretches across Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
    • It extends northeastward for 1000km from the Atlantic Coast to the Moroccan-Algerian border.
  • Geography:
    • They are characterized by their rugged and steep terrain.
    • They are known for their high peaks, deep valleys, and extensive plateaus.
    • The range includes several peaks over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in elevation, with Mount Toubkal being the highest at approximately 4,167 meters (13,671 feet).
  • Cultural Significance: They have cultural significance in Morocco. The region is inhabited by Berber communities, and traditional Berber villages can be found throughout the mountains.
  • Climate Divide: Its saw-toothed Jurassic peaks act as a weather barrier between the mild, Mediterranean climate to the north and the encroaching Sahara to the south.


Key Facts about Morocco:

  • It is located in the northwest corner of Africa and is bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Land Borders: It shares land borders with Algeria to the east and southeast and Western Sahara to the south.
  • The High Atlas Mountains separate the mild coastline from the harsh Sahara
  • Sahara Desert:significant part of Morocco is covered by the Sahara Desert.
  • Climate: Morocco has a diverse climate, ranging from the Mediterranean along the coast to desert in the interior. The country experiences hot summers and mild winters in most regions.
  • It was a French protectorate between 1912 and 1956.
  • CapitalRabat, which is located on the Atlantic coast.
  • Largest CityCasablanca is the largest city in Morocco and serves as its economic and business hub.
  • Official LanguagesArabic and Amazigh (Berber) are the official languages of Morocco. French is also widely spoken and used in business and government.
  • Government:
    • Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament.
    • King Mohammed VI has been the reigning monarch since 1999.


Q1) What is Epicenter of an Earthquake?

Epicenter is the location on the surface of the Earth directly above where the earthquake starts. Focus (aka Hypocenter) is the location on the Earth where the earthquake starts.

Source: What caused Morocco’s earthquake? A geologist studying the Atlas mountains explains