Nile mud

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Annually flooded area on the banks of the Nile near Karima in the Nubian Desert in Sudan . The cracks are 30–40 cm deep in the winter dry season.

The Nile Mud is fertile mud from the volcanic areas of Ethiopia , which is transported through the Nile to Egypt and therefore bears his name.

Moisturized Nile mud is so soft and deep that it cannot be walked on. Due to the high proportion of clay, the soil shrinks when it dries out and forms polygonal plates ( vertisoles ).

The very fertile mud was an important basis of Egyptian agriculture, as it had an essential fertilizer function due to its nutrient content and made the land on the Nile fertile.

With the conversion of irrigation methods on the Nile to year-round irrigation, begun by Muhammad Ali Pasha (1805–1848 viceroy of Egypt) and expanded by Ismail Pasha (1863–1879 viceroy) , the Nile mud began to lose its importance. The construction of the Sannar Dam and the Roseires Dam restricted the transport of the Nile mud. The construction of the Aswan Dam and later the Merowe Dam finally prevented further transport. Therefore, the nutrients contained in the sludge have to be replaced by artificial fertilizers .

This development occurred against the backdrop of the population's increase from 2.5 million by 1800 to around 90 million in 2016.