For the volcanic cone, see Mount The atlas of middle earth pdf. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. The Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations.
The terms for ‘mountain’ in some Berber languages are adrar and adras, which are believed to be cognates of the toponym Atlas. Cuvier’s gazelle, the Northern bald ibis, dippers, the Atlas mountain viper, the Atlas cedar, the European black pine, and the Algerian oak. The basement rock of most of Africa was formed during the Precambrian period, and is much older than the Atlas Mountains lying on the continent.
The Atlas was formed during three subsequent phases of Earth’s geology. North America, Europe and Africa were connected millions of years ago. The Anti-Atlas Mountains are believed to have originally been formed as part of Alleghenian orogeny.
These mountains were formed when Africa and America collided, and were once a chain rivaling today’s Himalayas. Today, the remains of this chain can be seen in the Fall Line region in the Eastern United States. Some remnants can also be found in the later formed Appalachians in North America. It consisted of a widespread extension of the Earth’s crust that rifted and separated the continents mentioned above.
This extension was responsible for the formation of many thick intracontinental sedimentary basins including the present Atlas. Most of the rocks forming the surface of the present High Atlas were deposited under the ocean at that time. Atlas were uplifted, as the land masses of Europe and Africa collided at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. In the case of the Africa-Europe collision, it is clear that tectonic convergence is partially responsible for the formation of the High Atlas, as well as for the closure of the Strait of Gibraltar and the formation of the Alps and the Pyrenees.