Hodna Mountains

Hodna Mountains
جبل حضنة / Monts du Hodna
The southern slope of the Hodna Mountains rising behind the Beni Hammad Fort
Highest point
PeakDjebel Tachrirt
Coordinates35°49′0″N 4°51′0″E / 35°49′0″N 4°51′0″E / 35.81667; 4.85000
Length90 km (56 mi) ESE/WNW
Width22 km (14 mi) NNE/SSW
Hodna Mountains is located in Algeria
Hodna Mountains
Hodna Mountains
States/ProvincesM'Sila, Batna Province and Sétif Province
Parent rangeSaharan Atlas
OrogenyAlpine orogeny
Ouled Tebben

The Hodna Mountains (Arabic: جبال حضنة‎, French: Monts du Hodna) are a mountain massif in northeastern Algeria. It rises on the northern side of the Hodna natural region in the M'Sila Province, near the town of Maadid around 200 km southeast of Algiers. These mountains are one of the ranges of the Saharan Atlas, part of the Atlas Mountain System.

Geography and vegetation

The Hodna Mountain ridge is located south of Kabylie. It sits at a parallel latitude in a roughly east–west direction between the Bibans in the northwest and the Belezma Range in the east. The highest peak, at 1,902 meters, is the Djebel Tachrirt;[1] another important summit is 1,659 m high Djebel Guetiane,[2] both located in the easternmost range of the Hodna chain already in Batna Province, towards the transition zone with the Aurès Mountains. The Maadid Range, the Kiyāna Range and the 'Aqqār Range are other subranges of the Hodna Mountains.[3]

The Hodna Range has a zone of about 8,000 ha of natural cedar forest near Boutaleb growing in relatively xerophile conditions.[4]

Water management

The former inhabitants of the Hodna Mountains built a complex system of water retention walls named jessour. They were built parallel to the level curves forming steps in the talwegs. On the northern slopes of the Djebel Tachrirt the walls were constructed above the ground level, allowing the snow to accumulate and to melt slowly in order to distribute the available water resulting from the snow melting period. Most of these traditional water management works are now in ruins.[5][6]