Geography of Jordan


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Jordan is part of the Arabian Plateau and can be divided into three topographical regions, the Jordan basin in the west, the highlands east of it and the desert plateau in the far east.

The terrestrial sandal is of tectonic origin, formed by a tomb or rift in the earth’s crust, and has its lowest part in the Dead Sea. North of the Dead Sea, Jordan flows south into the narrowest part of the valley. South of the Sedom salt marsh, in the very shallow part of the Dead Sea, the sink continues as a wide dry valley, Wadi Araba, and has its mouth in the Aqaba Bay.

The Highlands region starts in the west with a marked steep, where the Jordan sink ends, and is mainly made up of hill areas, from the south, among other places. Edom, Moav, and Gilead. The region is strongly torn by cross faults, especially in the north. Here, the peaks reach more than 1,000 meters above sea level. Smaller rivers drain off the area to the west, such as Yarmuk in the far north, forming part of the border with Syria before it runs into Jordan. Furthermore, Zarqa and Mujib, the latter with an outlet in the Dead Sea and with deep canyon valleys, are marked. Among the peaks in the south are Jabal al-Atayta (1,641 m asl) and Jabal Ramm (1,754 m asl). The rocks in the area are mainly red Nubian sandstone as well as limestone and sandstone from chalk and tertiary.

The plateau country in the east occupies about 4/5 of the whole of Jordan and is made up of chalk limestone and flint deposits from Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary. In the south there are also crystalline rocks, belonging to the Arabian upland shield, as well as large areas of lava in northeastern Jordan. The area is heavily degraded and reaches east into the Syrian desert. No real rivers exist here, only a network of dry valleys excavated by temporary rain.


Jordan has a continental dry climate with some maritime impact, especially in the west. The average temperature varies between 8 and 26 ° C in the northwest and between 16 and 33 ° C on the Red Sea coast. Precipitation falls in winter: in the north about 400 mm per year, in the south 100 mm. In the highland region, about 300 mm falls, in the Jordandalen 150 mm and on the desert plateau about 50 mm per year. Snow and frost can occur in the highlands but very rarely in lower-lying areas.

Plant Life

Jordan’s surface is mostly occupied by desert and peninsula. Vegetation and flora are reminiscent of Israel’s flora, but are poorer and more worn. The species population is conditioned by four flora areas.

The Mediterranean area in the west is severely ravaged by millennial grubbing and grazing, but contains trees such as planted and local forest-forming alpine trees, oaks such as evergreen shrubs in leafy form and deciduous Queʹrcus ithabureʹnsis and cypress. The bush land is often dominated by the spiny rose plant Sarcopoteʹrium spinoʹsum, which quickly invades red soil and is used as fuel.

In the irano-Turan area to the east, sparse populations of the bush to tree-shaped species of Phoenician one (Juniʹperus phoeniʹcea) and the sumac plant Pistaʹcia atlaʹntica occur.

The southern part of the desert, the saharo-arabic area, has very sparse vegetation, most of the bush-shaped amaranth plants and, for example, Zygophyʹllum in the pocken tree family.

The Earth Valley and the Dead Sea basin, in the Sudano-Deccan area, contain some tropical species, including trees such as acacias and the toothbrush tree Salvadoʹra peʹrsica.


Jordan Wildlife

Wildlife is dominated by desert and dryland species such as desert spring rats, a variety of desert rats, desert hedgehogs (Paraechiʹnus aethioʹpicus), capers, sand fox, golden shark and striped hyena. There are also red fox, wild boar, African wildcat and honey badger. However, wildlife has been depleted due to hunting, persecution and biotoping; in particular, many of the larger mammals, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, brown bears, Arabian oryx (Oʹryx leucoryx [le u ʹ-]), gazelle (Gazeʹlla subgutturoʹsa), Dorcas gazelle, half-ash, and Nubian Capricorn (Caʹpra ix), has recently been eradicated or reduced to a small number.

Among the herbivores are mainly a number of species of French finger lizards, further agams, gecko lizards, desert goods, hornworms, several species of snakes and sandbug (Eʹryx jaʹculus). Sea frogs are common.

Nature conservation

Jordan had two national parks for recreation and tourism in 2010, among other things. Petra, as well as four nature reserves, among others. the Azraq desert and wetland area in the north, the mountainous desert of Wadi Mujib east of the Dead Sea and the Dana valley further south with several endangered species.