Suriname Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Suriname?

Overview:

Suriname lies on the northeast coast of South America, bordered by French Guiana in the east, Brazil in the south, and by Guyana in the west. Most of the country's 220-mile shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean consists of mud flats and mangrove swamp. Parts of Suriname's boundaries with French Guiana and Guyana are in dispute.

Suriname has a land area of 63,000 square miles (163,000 sq. km.). Most Surinamers, however, live in the 1,900-square-mile narrow coastal plain about 50 KM wide in and around the major population centers of Paramaribo (250,000), Moengo and Nieuw Nickerie (38,000).

Suriname's coastal area is mostly flat. Hills and low mountains reach a maximum height of about 4,000 feet (1,230 meters) in the heavily forested interior. Between these two zones lie the savanna lands, 30-40 miles wide. Large rivers and streams flow through Suriname from south to north, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Although they provide major transportation routes between the coast and the interior, the number of rivers has proved a historical hindrance to east-west land transportation.

Geography - note:

smallest independent country on South American continent; mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that, for the most part, is increasingly threatened by new development; relatively small population, mostly along the coast

Climate:

Suriname's climate is tropical, hot and humid year-round. Daytime temperatures in Paramaribo average 75°F to 90°F. Temperatures in the interior, not moderated by the steady coastal breezes, are generally higher.

Seasons are distinguished mainly by more or less rain, with annual rainfall averaging 87 inches. Indeed, locals will tell you that the four seasons of Suriname are: 1) Little Rainy Season (December to February); 2) Little Dry Season (March to April); 3) Big Rainy Season (May to August); and Big Dry Season (September to November). The hottest months of the year are September and October when temperatures average 90 �F (32 �C). Suriname lies outside hurricane and earthquake zones. Parts of Paramaribo experience heavy flooding. Isolated flooding occurs on some city streets and in low-lying areas of Paramaribo for up to 24 hours at a time.

Suriname Use of Natural Resources

Suriname Environment

Climate:

Suriname's climate is tropical, hot and humid year-round. Daytime temperatures in Paramaribo average 75°F to 90°F. Temperatures in the interior, not moderated by the steady coastal breezes, are generally higher.

Seasons are distinguished mainly by more or less rain, with annual rainfall averaging 87 inches. Indeed, locals will tell you that the four seasons of Suriname are: 1) Little Rainy Season (December to February); 2) Little Dry Season (March to April); 3) Big Rainy Season (May to August); and Big Dry Season (September to November). The hottest months of the year are September and October when temperatures average 90 �F (32 �C). Suriname lies outside hurricane and earthquake zones. Parts of Paramaribo experience heavy flooding. Isolated flooding occurs on some city streets and in low-lying areas of Paramaribo for up to 24 hours at a time.

Terrain:

mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps

Natural Resources:

timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore

Natural Hazards:

NA

Irrigated Land:

198 Square Miles
512 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Suriname Geography

Geographic Location South America
Total Area 63,251 Square Miles
163,820 Square Kilometers
Land Area 60,232 Square Miles
156,000 Square Kilometers
Water Area 3,019 Square Miles
7,820 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,058 Miles
1,703 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 198 Square Miles
512 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Brazil 597 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Coastline 240 Miles
386 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 4 00 N, 56 00 W
Terrain mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Highest Point 1,230 Meters
Highest Point Location Juliana Top 1,230 m
Lowest Point -2 Meters
Lowest Point Location unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
Natural Resources timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Time Zone UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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