Climate of Sierra Leone

Geography of Sierra Leone
Mount Bintumani
1,948 m (6,391 ft)



Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, between the 7th and 10th parallels north of the equator. Sierra Leone is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.[1] The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi), divided into a land area of 71,620 km2 (27,653 sq mi) and water of 120 km2 (46 sq mi).[2] The country has four distinct geographical regions: coastal Guinean mangroves, the wooded hill country, an upland plateau, and the eastern mountains. Eastern Sierra Leone is an interior region of large plateaus interspersed with high mountains, where Mount Bintumani rises to 1,948 meters (6,391 ft).[1]

Physical geography

Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, between the 7th and 10th parallels north of the equator. Sierra Leone is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.[1] The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi), divided into a land area of 71,620 km2 (27,653 sq mi) and water of 120 km2 (46 sq mi).[2] The country has four distinct geographical regions: coastal Guinean mangroves, the wooded hill country, an upland plateau, and the eastern mountains. Eastern Sierra Leone is an interior region of large plateaus interspersed with high mountains, where Mount Bintumani rises to 1,948 meters (6,391 ft).[1]

Geology

Sierra Leone can be split into three geological areas, in the east is part of the West African craton, the western area consists of the Rokelides, an orogenic belt, and a 20 to 30 km coastal strip of sediments.[3]

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of Sierra Leone, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • *Note: Sierra Leone does not have a northernmost point, the border being formed here by 10th parallel north

Climate

The climate is tropical, although it could be classified as a tropical monsoon climate it could also be describe as a climate that is transitional between a continually wet tropical rainforest climate and a tropical savanna climate.[4] There are two seasons determining the agricultural cycle: the rainy season from May to November, and a dry season from December to May, which includes harmattan, when cool, dry winds blow in off the Sahara Desert and the night-time temperature can be as low as 16 °C (60.8 °F). The average temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F) and varies from around 26 °C (78.8 °F) to 36 °C (96.8 °F) during the year.[2][5][6] Average rainfall is highest at the coast, 3000–5000 mm per year, moving inland this decreases and at the eastern border of the country the average rainfall is 2000-2500mm.[7]

Environmental agreements

Sierra Leone is party to several environmental agreements:[2]

Signed, but not ratified:

General information

Geographic coordinates: 8°30′N 11°30′W / 8.500°N 11.500°W / 8.500; -11.500

Land boundaries:
total: 958 km
border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km

Coastline: 402 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi).
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation.

Terrain: coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east.

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite.

Land use:
arable land: 7.95%
permanent crops: 1.05%
other: 91% (2005)

Irrigated land: 300 km²; (2003)

Natural hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); dust storms.

Environment issues: rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing and slash and burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleting natural resources; overfishing.

See also

References

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