Guyana Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Guyana?

Overview:

Guyana lies on the northern coast of South America. Its 285-mile coastline extends from Punta Playa (near the mouth of the Orinoco River) in the northwest to the Corentyne River in the east. The low-lying coastland, one of Guyana's three geographic regions, is a flat, often swampy strip of silt and clay about 5-1/2 feet below sea level at high tide. Man-made concrete walls and earthen barriers keep the ocean back and prevent floods. Canals with sluice gates permit drainage to the rivers, and at low tide, to the sea. Most of the country's population and agricultural activity are concentrated in this narrow coastal strip between the Pomeroon and Corentyne Rivers.

The mountain region includes the Pakaraima Range, which lies along the western boundary between the Waini and Rupununi Rivers; a sandstone plateau 22 miles long and more than 9,000 feet above sea level; and the Kanaku Mountains, which lie on both sides of the Rupununi River near the Brazilian border.

The intermediate region, to the east and south of the coastal and mountain regions, is the largest of the three areas. It is mainly tropical forest and jungle, except for the Rupununi savanna on the southwestern border with Brazil. Large rivers and their tributaries form a vast network of waterways. Rapids and falls hinder navigation and development along the larger rivers. The principal rivers are the Essequibo, Demerara, Berbice, and Corentyne. The Cuyuni, Mazaruni, and Rupununi are major tributaries of the Essequibo River.

Geography - note:

the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively

Climate:

Guyana's climate is typical of most tropical countries. Humidity ranges from an average low of 68% in October to 77% in May, and an average high of 79% in October to 86% in May through August. The average annual mean (AAM) is 73% in the afternoons and 83% in the mornings. Minimum temperatures in Georgetown, on the coast, range between 22-26°C (71-80°F) year around, with an AAM low of 75. Maximum temperatures range between 28-32°C (83-90°F), year around, with an AAM high of 86. The sea breezes (east-northeast trade winds) significantly mitigate the heat on the coast.


The coastal area typically has two wet seasons: May to mid-August, when about 40% of the total annual precipitation falls, and December to mid-January, which receive another 20%. However, occasional rain may fall at any time of the year. Georgetown and the coast average 90 inches of rainfall annually; in the interior, 60-150 inches occur.

Guyana Use of Natural Resources

Guyana Environment

Climate:

Guyana's climate is typical of most tropical countries. Humidity ranges from an average low of 68% in October to 77% in May, and an average high of 79% in October to 86% in May through August. The average annual mean (AAM) is 73% in the afternoons and 83% in the mornings. Minimum temperatures in Georgetown, on the coast, range between 22-26°C (71-80°F) year around, with an AAM low of 75. Maximum temperatures range between 28-32°C (83-90°F), year around, with an AAM high of 86. The sea breezes (east-northeast trade winds) significantly mitigate the heat on the coast.


The coastal area typically has two wet seasons: May to mid-August, when about 40% of the total annual precipitation falls, and December to mid-January, which receive another 20%. However, occasional rain may fall at any time of the year. Georgetown and the coast average 90 inches of rainfall annually; in the interior, 60-150 inches occur.

Terrain:

mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south

Natural Resources:

bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish

Natural Hazards:

flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons

Irrigated Land:

580 Square Miles
1,501 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Guyana Geography

Geographic Location South America
Total Area 83,000 Square Miles
214,969 Square Kilometers
Land Area 76,003 Square Miles
196,849 Square Kilometers
Water Area 6,996 Square Miles
18,120 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,832 Miles
2,949 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 580 Square Miles
1,501 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Brazil 1,119 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km
Coastline 285 Miles
459 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 5 00 N, 59 00 W
Terrain mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Highest Point 2,835 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Time Zone UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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