Major physical features of Nigeria

Major physical features of Nigeria

Huge deposits of natural oil and gas are the most important physical features of Nigeria, which make it one of the biggest players in the whole world. Due to its geographic location, the country has many faces: lowlands and mountains, arid plains and lush mangroves. Nigeria has everything within its borders and in the article below, we will try to paint its geographic portrait for you.

nigerian people

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The main physical features of Nigeria

Under the ground of Nigeria, there lie ancient crystalline rocks of the huge African Shield. Thousands and millions of years ago, this surface was different but erosion and weathering has turned it into the current shape – plains with occasional mountains. This landscape is common for the Western Africa as a whole.

nigerian nature

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In many places, the ancient granites are covered with sedimentary layers. They form slightly uplifted plateaus and wide plains without a hint of a mountain or even a tall hill. Such landscapes surround the basins of Benue and Niger rivers and stretch to Chad and Sokoto basins. In the southeastern part of Nigeria the sediments form the most dramatic shapes. Due to erosion, they rise as cliffs in the area of Udi Hills, Enugu, Nanka, and Agulu.

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Nigeria has not experienced much effect of the volcano activities during its existence, yet, there are two obvious traces of volcanic activities in the area. They are discovered in the northern part: north-east in Biu Plateau and north-center in Jos Plateau. The traces of volcanic activity stretch to the border with Cameroon.

gashaka gumti national park nigeria

Gashaka Gumti National Park

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The geographic profile of the country changes dramatically from lowlands in the southern regions, washed by the ocean to plateaus in the central part, endless plains in the north, and mountains in the southeastern areas. This influences the life in country greatly and offers visitors plenty of things to see.

The official Nigerian coastline, waters and swamps

nigerian riverside

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Nigeria has 530 miles of coastline that’s limited by the borders of Benin in the west and the border of Cameroon in the south. Nigeria has more than 200 miles of coastal waters that stretch out into the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline include many sandy beaches that are interesting to tourists and are well developed. From those beaches, tourists can swim, dive, and observe the wild nature of the coasts. Some of the beaches are located close to Lagos and are more urbanized.

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Importance of highlands in Nigeria

The main water source in Nigeria is the Niger River, which is the third biggest river in Africa. The river enters the territory of Nigeria in the northwest and runs towards the southeast. In the central part of the country, it meets the Benue River and keeps on running towards the coast.

anambra river

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Along its route, the river feeds a range of water reservoirs and 13 lakes. Apart from Chad Lake, all these lakes and water reservoirs are artificially made to store fresh water. In the estuary, the river meets with salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean and this meeting creates perfect conditions for mangroves, which stretch over hundreds of hectares.

Nigerian plains: physical profile of Nigeria

nigerian plateau

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The majority of the northern part is occupied with plateaus that are quite high compared to lowlands. Still, the number of species of both animals and vegetation grows as you start to move southwards.

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The central part of Nigeria gives a perfect idea of the wilderness via the local national park. This reserve saves the wild nature of savanna and a range of wild animal species that make this place the best national park in Nigeria.

The mountainous region: southeastern peaks

zuma rock

Zuma Rock, Niger State

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The area of mountains stretches towards Cameroon and crosses the border. This is the tallest region of the country with the Chappal Waddi height of 7,936 feet.

The mountainous region is cooler than the plains and lowlands and tourists often choose it for their visits. The climate of this area is good for local forests and animals in them.

The climatic profile of the country

nigeria soil

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Nigeria has a tropical climate with average temperatures of 26-29 degrees Celsius on the coast, 23-33 degrees in the northern parts, and 21-26 degrees in Central Plateau. In the southern regions, the season of rains lasts between April and November while in the northern region, the rains fall from May to November.

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During the season of drought, dry hot harmatan blows all the time. This is a dry wind that comes from the Sahara desert and brings with it millions of particles of dust and sand. When the wind is especially strong, the dust and sand reach many miles deep into the aquatic territory of the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes, the mist caused by harmatan can obscure the sun for several days like fog. Sometimes, interacting with monsoons, harmatan can cause sandstorms.

nigeria harmatan

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The climate of the country allows growing a range of agricultural species of vegetation like yam, sweet potato, corn, cocoa beans, and cotton. Palm trees that are good for the production of kernel oil occupy a big territory of the country. The climate also allows animal rearing and fish farming.

Natural deposits of oil, gas and other minerals in Nigeria

oil spill

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Nigerian is rich in diverse natural treasures. The ancient crystalline rocks contain ores of precious and rare metals like niobium, wolfram, molybdenum, zirconium, uranium, gold, and silver. Sediments are rich with coal, oil, gas, limestone, and many others.

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Oil is the main treasure of the Nigerian nation. At present, there are more than 300 discovered natural deposits of oil within the country. Many of them are connected with deposits of natural gas. Both the oil and the gas are of a high quality. The oil contains low amounts of sulfur but a lot of paraffin.

oil extraction

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The extraction and development of these deposits makes 80% of the country’s incomes and these deposits are among the most important points in the physical geography of Nigeria, its geographic profile and the role of the country in the global market.

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Source: traveltips.usatoday.com

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