The Al-Hajar mountains mountain range extends some 700 km, reaching its northern end at the tip of the Musandam Peninsula, extending southward and eastward paralleling the coast to the Gulf of Oman, and finally disappearing near the coast at Ra’s al-Hadd.
.Al Jabal al Akhdar lies at the heart of Al Hajar, the mountains of northern Oman. The very rocky and stony mountain range rises to an altitude of more than 3000 m a.s.l. The mountains are formed of hard sedimentary rock with extensive areas of crystalline rock in their central part. The rocks are largely exposed, steep, with very little soil cover and sparsely vegetated, primarily limited to runnels or small depressions where some sediments have accumulated in pockets. Large boulders, small stones and gravel are found in the steep runnels. The wadi fans consist mainly of gravel and sandy soil. Occasional rainfalls in winter can lead to flash floods that rush through the barren wadis. Several major wadis drain Al Jabal al Akhdar: Wadis bani Awf, Sahtan and bani Kharus north to Al Batinah, and Wadi Ghul to the south.
The climate of the mountains is hot and arid to semi-arid. Rainfall patterns are erratic, but generally rain occurs between December and February and ranges from 100 – 340 mm. The annual mean temperature varies between 19°C in the mountains and 30°C in the plains. Typically temperatures are highest during June and July and lowest in December and January. Local reports indicate that even frost and occasional snow are known in the highest parts of the mountain range.
The way of life remains traditional with scattered communities growing date palms and fodder crops fed by groundwater and springs. In the more sheltered areas, a variety of tree crops are grown, such as almonds, walnuts, apricots, peaches, figs and pomegranates.
Oasis settlements on the Jabal al Akhdar: Sayh Quatanah,
Al'Aqr, Al'Ayn and Ash Sharayjah (from right to left)
The main study areas are the villages Masayrat ar Ruwajah (23.05°N, 57.67° E; 1070 m a.s.l.), Qasha’ (23.06° N, 57.67°E; 1700 m a.s.l.) and Ash Sharayjah (23.07° N, 57.66° E, 1980 m a.s.l.) in the central Al-Jabal-al-Akhdar mountain range. The villages are located within a distance of 10 km of Sayq Qattanah, the central settlement of the Al-Jabal-al-Akhdar Mountains; they were selected due to their representative character for the altitudinal differences in the agricultural systems in the Northern Hajar Mountains.
See maps of Jabal Akhdar