Israeli Coastal Plain

Israeli Coastal Plain

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The Israeli coastal plain is the narrow coastal plain
Coastal plain
A coastal plain is an area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features. One of the world's longest coastal plains is located in eastern South America. The southwestern coastal plain of North America is notable for its species diversity...

 along Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 coast which houses 70% of the country's population. The plain extends 187 kilometres (116.2 mi) north to south and is divided into a number of areas; the Plain of Zebulun (north of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

), Hof HaCarmel
Hof HaCarmel Regional Council
Hof HaCarmel Regional Council is a regional council located in the northern Israeli coastal plain. The council serves a large area, from Tirat HaCarmel in the north to Caesarea in the south. Its offices are located in Ein HaCarmel to the south of Haifa. The Chairman of the council is Carmel Sela...

 (from Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 to Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

), the Sharon plain (from Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

 to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

), and the Plain of Judea (from Tel Aviv to Zikim
Zikim
Zikim is a kibbutz in the southern Israel. Located in the northern Negev desert, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. In 2006, it had a population of 385....

). For its duration, the plain has sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

y beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es and a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

.

Physical geography


The area was historically fertile in Biblical times, some of it being continually farmed ever since, although much turned over time into swampland, having to be converted back by Zionist pioneers. Today, the area is the center of the country's citrus farms, and contains some of the country's most successful agricultural settlements. The plain has soils made of two sorts of thick river deposits; one dark and heavy - ideal for growing field crops, and the other thin and sandy - ideal for growing citrus fruits.

Despite its length, the plain is only crossed by two significant rivers; the Yarkon, which is 27 kilometres (16.8 mi) long flowing from the Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

 area into the Mediterranean, and the Kishon
Kishon River
The Kishon River is a river in Israel that flows into the Mediterranean Sea at the city of Haifa.- Course :The Kishon River is a 70-km-long perennial stream in Israel...

 which is 43 kilometres (26.7 mi) long, flowing into the Gulf of Acre north of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

.

Human geography


About 57% of Israel's population lives in the coastal plain, much of them in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area
Gush Dan
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area , or Gush Dan , is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts of Israel. The area is closely linked to the city of Tel Aviv through social, economic, and cultural ties. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

 (Gush Dan) and Haifa metropolitan area
Haifa metropolitan area
Haifa metropolitan area is a metropolitan area including areas from both the Haifa and the North Districts of Israel. It is located along the Israeli Mediterranean coastline...

. It is the most predominantly Jewish geographical region of Israel and conversely the most predominantly Jewish region in the world, as Jews make up over 96% of the population in this region compared to 75% in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

, 70% in the Israeli portion of the Judean Mountains
Judean Mountains
The Judaean Mountains, ;, also Judaean Hills and Hebron Hills is a mountain range in Israel and the West Bank where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The mountains reach a height of 1,000 m.-Geography:...

, and only 50% in the Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

, and the Golan Heights.

About 4,320,000 people live on the Israeli Coastal Plain (57% of the total Israeli population of 7,600,000, or 4,320,000 people). 4,200,000 million of them are Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 (97.2%), and 120,000 are Israeli Arabs. This accounts for approximately one-third of the world Jewish population, and almost three-quarters of Israeli Jews.

The Israeli Coastal Plain has been populated for thousands of years, with references to it in Biblical literature. Recent research however, has concluded that the Coastal Plain was inhabited 5,500 years ago during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. It is thought that at this time, shifting settlement patterns in the land were caused by climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 which led to flooding of the area which had been a populated commercial and settlement center, and the creation of many swamps. Settlements are thought to have been spread across the plain, from Gaza up to the Galilee, with the land being an important trade route for the Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

.

Regions



The coastal plain includes the following geographical regions (from north
North
North is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.North is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east and west.By convention, the top side of a map is north....

 to south
South
South is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.South is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to east and west.By convention, the bottom side of a map is south....

):

Western Galilee


The Western Galilee (also known as North coast or Plain of Zebulun) region of the Coastal Plain stretches from Rosh HaNikra
Rosh Hanikra (kibbutz)
Rosh HaNikra is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located on the Mediterranean coast near the Rosh HaNikra grottoes and the border with Lebanon, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Asher Regional Council...

 in the far North, down to Israel's third-largest city, Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

. It is a fertile region containing the city of Nahariya
Nahariya
Nahariya is the northernmost coastal city in Israel, with an estimated population of 51,200.-History:Nahariya was founded by German Jewish immigrants from the Fifth Aliyah in the 1930s...

 and many moshavim and kibbutzim. The coast here has many small islands off of it. Often regarded as a separate region is the Acre coastal plain, which is crowded with urban areas including Acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 and the northern Krayot suburbs of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 as well as more agricultural areas.

Hof HaCarmel


The Hof HaCarmel (Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

) region covers the area from Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 down to the town of Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'akov is a town in Israel, south of Haifa, and part of the Haifa District. It is located at the southern end of the Carmel mountain range overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, near the coastal highway...

, the coast nearby Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

. The soil of the Hof HaCarmel plain is rich and apart from the main city of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 in the north, most settlement here is made up of farming communities.

Sharon Plain


The Sharon plain is the next stage down the Coastal Plain, running from Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'akov is a town in Israel, south of Haifa, and part of the Haifa District. It is located at the southern end of the Carmel mountain range overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, near the coastal highway...

 to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

's Yarkon River. This area is Israel's most densely populated, containing a number of large towns and cities including Netanya
Netanya
Netanya is a city in the Northern Centre District of Israel, and is the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain. It is located north of Tel Aviv, and south of Haifa between the 'Poleg' stream and Wingate Institute in the south and the 'Avichail' stream in the north.Its of beaches have made the...

 and Herzliya
Herzliya
Herzliya is a city in the central coast of Israel, at the western part of the Tel Aviv District. It has a population of 87,000 residents. Named after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, Herzliya covers an area of 26 km²...

 as well as smaller communities inland.

Central Coastal Plain


Running from Northern Tel Aviv's Yarkon River to Nahal Shikma, the Central Coastal Plain contains cities such as Bat Yam and Rishon LeZion, and agricultural communities.

Southern Coastal Plain


Also known as the Shephelah
Shephelah
The Shephelah is a designation usually applied to the region in south-central Israel of 10-15 km of low hills between the central Mount Hebron and the coastal plains of Philistia within the area of the Judea, at an altitude of 120-450 metres above sea level. The area is fertile, and a temperate...

, Plain of Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

, and Western Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

, the Southern Coastal Plain extends south to the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and is divided into two:
  • the Besor
    Besor
    HaBesor is a wadi in southern Israel. The stream begins at Mount Boker , and spills into the Mediterranean Sea near Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, where it is called Wadi Gaza...

     region, a savanna
    Savanna
    A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

    -type area with a relatively large number of communities, in the north
  • the Agur-Halutsa region in the south which is very sparsely populated.