Trinidad and Tobago Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Trinidad and Tobago?

Overview:

Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands of the West Indian Island chain separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Trinidad has an area of 5,128 square kilometers (1,980 square miles). It lies northeast of Venezuela between 10° and 11° north of the Equator and is separated from Venezuela by the 7- to 20-mile-wide Gulf of Praia. Geographically it is an extension of the South American Continent. The larger island, Trinidad, measures 50 miles long and from 35 to 45 miles wide.

Three relatively low mountain ranges cross Trinidad from east to west; their highest elevation reaches 3,085 feet in the heavily forested Northern Range. A lower range extends laterally across the center of the island, and a third range extends along the southern coast. Trinidad has a wide assortment of tropical vegetation and wildlife.

Tobago, 21 miles northeast of Trinidad, has an area of 116 square miles. It has generally rugged terrain with elevations up to 1,800 feet; the only extensive lowland is a coral platform at the southwest end.

Geography - note:

Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt

Climate:

Both Trinidad and Tobago lie deep in the tropics but are cooled by the marine environment and the prevailing northeast trade winds. Because of its constant exposure to trade winds, Tobago is cooler than Trinidad. Rainfall is moderate to heavy with an annual average of 82.7 inches but is subject to considerable regional and year-to-year variations. Days are warm, but evening temperatures are cooler. The seasonal variation does not exceed 5°F. The mean year-round temperature for the country at 8 a.m. is about 77°F; at 2 p.m. it is about 86°F. Humidity averages about 86% at 8 a.m. and about 65% at 2 p.m.

A dry season, more clearly defined than in most West Indian islands, lasts from January through mid-May; a short interruption of the rainy season also usually occurs in September. In most of the country no month is entirely dry, but during the rainy season the monthly precipitation is three to four times greater than in the dry season.

Although the country lies slightly south of the hurricane track, violent local storms sometimes occur. In 1962, Hurricane Flora devastated Tobago, and tropical storm Alma crossed Trinidad in 1974. Both events are considered highly unusual.

Trinidad and Tobago Use of Natural Resources

Trinidad and Tobago Environment

Climate:

Both Trinidad and Tobago lie deep in the tropics but are cooled by the marine environment and the prevailing northeast trade winds. Because of its constant exposure to trade winds, Tobago is cooler than Trinidad. Rainfall is moderate to heavy with an annual average of 82.7 inches but is subject to considerable regional and year-to-year variations. Days are warm, but evening temperatures are cooler. The seasonal variation does not exceed 5°F. The mean year-round temperature for the country at 8 a.m. is about 77°F; at 2 p.m. it is about 86°F. Humidity averages about 86% at 8 a.m. and about 65% at 2 p.m.

A dry season, more clearly defined than in most West Indian islands, lasts from January through mid-May; a short interruption of the rainy season also usually occurs in September. In most of the country no month is entirely dry, but during the rainy season the monthly precipitation is three to four times greater than in the dry season.

Although the country lies slightly south of the hurricane track, violent local storms sometimes occur. In 1962, Hurricane Flora devastated Tobago, and tropical storm Alma crossed Trinidad in 1974. Both events are considered highly unusual.

Terrain:

mostly plains with some hills and low mountains

Natural Resources:

petroleum, natural gas, asphalt

Natural Hazards:

outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms

Irrigated Land:

14 Square Miles
36 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion

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, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Trinidad and Tobago Geography

Geographic Location The Caribbean
Total Area 1,980 Square Miles
5,128 Square Kilometers
Land Area 1,980 Square Miles
5,128 Square Kilometers
Irrigated Land 14 Square Miles
36 Square Kilometers
Coastline 225 Miles
362 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 11 00 N, 61 00 W
Terrain mostly plains with some hills and low mountains
Highest Point 940 Meters
Highest Point Location El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
Lowest Point Location Caribbean Sea 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
Time Zone UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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