Sunday, August 10, 2014

Thoughts Far From Washington: Sinjar, Northwest Iraq

The plight of the Yazidis is a terrible thing. I was curious about the Yazidis situation and the mountain they had fled to. So while doing some DEM (digital elevation model) work I paid a visit to northern Iraq and found Mount Sinjar.
The town of Sinjar is at the base of the south side of the mountain. The DEM clearly shows the mountain is a classic double plunging anticline with the younger rocks tilted up on either side of the fold and the older rocks in the center.
Sinjar is indicated with the red oval

Sinjar in red oval in northwesr Iraq with Syria to the northwest

As can be seen Sinjar is an outlier in the desert. Kurdish areas are to the north, northeast and northwest. While there is much chatter about ISIS and oil fields, note the two rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, cutting across the desert and large reservoirs. In my mind, second to the slaughter of people, the water issue and how water will be managed with this new government (ISIS) is worrisome.
Sinjar Mountain and the town on its south flank.
The desert landscape is nearly as good as the DEM 
The road up the mountain side
The mountain is approximately 3,000 feet above the desert floor.

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