Nigeria Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Nigeria?

Overview:

Nigeria's 356,669 square miles stretch across several climatic regions: a narrow coastal belt of mangrove swamps; a somewhat wider section of rolling hills and tropical rain forests; a still larger dry central plateau, with open woodlands and savanna; and a strip of semi-desert on the fringes of the Sahel. Lagos is located in the coastal belt and Abuja is in the central plateau.

The country's major geographical features are the Niger and Benue Rivers. The two rivers form the upper arms of a flattened letter Y, coming together in the south-central part of the country, and proceed due south as the Niger River, fanning out into a large and intricate delta as the waters reach the Gulf of Guinea. Most of Nigeria's oil deposits are found in the Niger delta or in the coastal waters. The country's highest peaks are in the eastern highlands bordering Cameroon, with elevations up to 7,936 feet. The most extensive upland area is the Jos Plateau in east-central Nigeria, a region 2000 to 4000 feet above sea level with elevations up to 5841 feet.

Geography - note:

the Niger enters the country in the northwest and flows southward through tropical rain forests and swamps to its delta in the Gulf of Guinea

Climate:

Due to its size and diversity, Nigeria has different climate zones. In the coastal area, where Lagos is located, temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 90s during most of the year. Rainfall is heaviest in this area, averaging 70 inches per year. The rainy season is fairly distinct throughout Nigeria. Along the coast, the heaviest rains fall during May to October. Humidity is high most of the year but declines during the winter months. In the central plateau, where Abuja is located, temperatures can climb to over 100(F) between March and June. Abuja's climate is generally hot and humid during the rainy season of June to September and rainfall in the area averages 50 inches per year. The humidity decreases considerably during the coolest months of December and January, when night temperatures are often in the 60s. The climate in northern Nigeria is drier, averaging as low as 20 inches of rain per year in the far north.

A distinctive feature of Nigerian weather is the harmattan, a dry northeasterly wind that carries sand from the Sahara south as far as Nigeria's coast during the months of December through February. The effects of the harmattan are felt strongest in the northern part of the country and decrease gradually the further south one goes. Visually, the harmattan creates a haze that on certain days can almost block the views of the surrounding hills in the Abuja region. Many people experience eye, nose and throat problems during this time of year.

Nigeria Use of Natural Resources

Nigeria Environment

Climate:

Due to its size and diversity, Nigeria has different climate zones. In the coastal area, where Lagos is located, temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 90s during most of the year. Rainfall is heaviest in this area, averaging 70 inches per year. The rainy season is fairly distinct throughout Nigeria. Along the coast, the heaviest rains fall during May to October. Humidity is high most of the year but declines during the winter months. In the central plateau, where Abuja is located, temperatures can climb to over 100(F) between March and June. Abuja's climate is generally hot and humid during the rainy season of June to September and rainfall in the area averages 50 inches per year. The humidity decreases considerably during the coolest months of December and January, when night temperatures are often in the 60s. The climate in northern Nigeria is drier, averaging as low as 20 inches of rain per year in the far north.

A distinctive feature of Nigerian weather is the harmattan, a dry northeasterly wind that carries sand from the Sahara south as far as Nigeria's coast during the months of December through February. The effects of the harmattan are felt strongest in the northern part of the country and decrease gradually the further south one goes. Visually, the harmattan creates a haze that on certain days can almost block the views of the surrounding hills in the Abuja region. Many people experience eye, nose and throat problems during this time of year.

Terrain:

southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north

Natural Resources:

natural gas, petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, arable land

Natural Hazards:

periodic droughts; flooding

Irrigated Land:

1,132 Square Miles
2,932 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution; desertification; oil pollution - water, air, and soil; has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Nigeria Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 356,667 Square Miles
923,768 Square Kilometers
Land Area 351,648 Square Miles
910,768 Square Kilometers
Water Area 5,019 Square Miles
13,000 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 2,515 Miles
4,047 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1,132 Square Miles
2,932 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Benin 773 km, Cameroon 1,690 km, Chad 87 km, Niger 1,497 km
Coastline 530 Miles
853 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 10 00 N, 8 00 E
Terrain southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north
Highest Point 2,419 Meters
Highest Point Location Chappal Waddi 2,419 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources natural gas, petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, arable land
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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