Liberia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Liberia?

Overview:

Liberia, the oldest independent republic in Africa, lies on the West African coast just 300 miles north of the Equator. It has a relatively long coastline of 350 miles. From the lagoons and mangrove swamps of the coastal plains, the land rises evenly along its length in belts parallel to the coast, from rolling hills, through a broader region of plateaus and low mountain ranges, into the foothills of the Guinea Highlands. Just beyond these 4,500-foot peaks originate the headwaters of the Niger. Half of the country is covered by tropical rain forest.

Geography - note:

facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture

Climate:

Liberia is so situated in the Tropics as to be directly in the path of the seasonal winds. From May through November, the prevailing monsoon winds drop most of the nearly 200 inches of rain received annually in the capital city of Monrovia. From December through April, the red, dust-laden harmattan winds originating over the Sahara Desert prevail. The transition periods between the seasons are punctuated by violent thunderstorms and sudden torrential downpours.


Temperatures average 81°F; humidity averages 82%. There is little variation over the course of the year. Precautions must be taken against mildew and rust caused by the heat, constant humidity, and the corrosive salt air of the coast.

Liberia Use of Natural Resources

Liberia Environment

Climate:

Liberia is so situated in the Tropics as to be directly in the path of the seasonal winds. From May through November, the prevailing monsoon winds drop most of the nearly 200 inches of rain received annually in the capital city of Monrovia. From December through April, the red, dust-laden harmattan winds originating over the Sahara Desert prevail. The transition periods between the seasons are punctuated by violent thunderstorms and sudden torrential downpours.


Temperatures average 81°F; humidity averages 82%. There is little variation over the course of the year. Precautions must be taken against mildew and rust caused by the heat, constant humidity, and the corrosive salt air of the coast.

Terrain:

mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast

Natural Resources:

iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)

Irrigated Land:

8 Square Miles
21 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage

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, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Liberia Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 43,000 Square Miles
111,369 Square Kilometers
Land Area 37,189 Square Miles
96,320 Square Kilometers
Water Area 5,810 Square Miles
15,049 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 985 Miles
1,585 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 8 Square Miles
21 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km
Coastline 360 Miles
579 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 6 30 N, 9 30 W
Terrain mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Highest Point 1,380 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Time Zone UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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