The Anthropogenic “Runoff” Landscape of the Central Negev Desert

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Landscapes are inherently formed by geological, climatic, and geomorphological processes. However, anthropogenic activities may also affect the shaping of the landscape. This has been the case in the hilly central Negev desertNegev desert, where remarkable human-made landscape changes occurred, related to the utilization of precious runoff rainwater in an arid environment. Hundreds of cisternsCisterns were constructed in selected geological strata, accompanied by cleverly designed hillside conduits to harvest runoff for vital drinking water. Many thousands of stone terrace walls were built in wadis to capture runoff water for food production. Millions of stones were repositioned along hillslopes in stone mounds and stone strips to enhance runoff generation. These anthropogenic changes in the landscape led to beneficial soil aggradation in valleys and beautiful constructs in terms of landscape architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Publication series

NameWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
VolumePart F2449
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104


  • Agricultural terraces
  • Cisterns
  • Climatic classification
  • Hillslope modifications
  • Negev desert
  • Runoff harvesting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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