Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Nigeria is on the lower part of the African mountain
plateau. The country consists mostly of plateaus that are
old erosion surfaces at different heights and the central
river valley system of the Niger and Benue Rivers, which
occupy 60% of Nigeria's land area. The coastal plain with
the great Niger Delta, like the Sokoto area in the northwest
and the Chad Lake basin in the northeast, consists of young
sandstones. Wavy plains, which are often waterlogged, are
typical of this region. To the north of the coastal plains
is a backland in tertiary bedrock with hills and ridges up
to 500 m above sea level. In the north, older rocks are
found, among other things. in the form of a mountain, and
the most common landform here is high plains and broad,
shallow valley sinks, with numerous hills and inselbergs.
Particularly prominent relief is the Biu and Jos Plateau,
which is marked by lava blankets with remains of
extinguished volcanoes. Several of the well-preserved
volcanoes have volcanic lakes. At the border with Cameroon,
it shoots about 3,000 meters above sea level. the high
Adamaoua range into Nigeria, and several high mountain
ranges form sharp cuesta-type edges down towards Benue's
Along the coast, the soil is sandy or swampy and leached
as in the rainforest belt. Laterite soils are also found on
sloping surfaces in areas with rainy season and marked dry
time and are often too hard to grow. The soil erosion is
particularly difficult on the Jos plateau and in parts of
the Sokotor region. Wind erosion also occurs in the northern
parts during the dry season.
Nigeria has tropical climate with rainy season and dry
season. It varies from rainforest climate in the south, over
savannah to steppe climate in the north. Near the coast,
especially in the southeast, the humidity is very high and
the precipitation amounts to 3,000–4,000 mm per year. The
rainy season in the south falls during April – October. To
the north, the dry season is getting longer and is dominated
by the Harmattan, the dry and dusty wind from the Sahara.
The rainfall varies regionally inland from 1,750 to 500 mm
per year. The average temperature in the south is 25–28 °C,
in the north 21–31 °C.
Three main types of vegetation can be distinguished: the
swamp forests in the Niger Delta and along the coast, the
lowland rainforest in the humid southern parts and the
increasingly cultivated dry forests and savannas in the
middle and northern parts of the country.
The swamp forests on the coast and in the outer parts of
the Niger Delta consist of mangroves, but further inland
there are tall trees along the rivers such as Mitraʹgyna
ledermaʹnnii and Alstoʹnia boonei [bo: ʹ-].
The lowland rain forest is dominated in the
western parts by the tree genus such as Stercuʹlia,
Coʹla, Mansoʹnia, Ceʹltis and
figusar. To the east, other trees take over, e.g. the pea
plants Brachysteʹgia and Piptadeniaʹstrum.
Forests with really abundant rainfall are characterized by
the species Lophiʹra alaʹta, Klainedoʹxia
gaboneʹnsis and Nauclea [na u ʹ-]
The forests of the drier areas are characterized by
Anogeissus [-ge in ʹ-] and Isoberliʹnia.
The fauna is, or at least has been, very rich with both
West and Central African features. On the savannas in the
north there are several species of antelopes, including.
horse and cow antelope. Giraffes and African elephants are
rare. Lions and spotted hyena are rare, while serval,
leopard, mangosteen and gold shawl are more common.
In the few untouched rainforests there are many species
of primates, including ground mats, drill and chimpanzees.
There are also diving antelopes, bush boar, forest elephant
and several species of wanderrides. There are many rodent
species, including hamster rats and sugar cane rats. The
bird fauna is rich with many species of turakos, parrots,
rhino birds, beards, pigeons and sunbirds.
In the savannah areas there are, among other things,
francolines and stairs, furthest in northern ostrich.
Typical reptiles are chameleons, agams, black and white lip
cobra (Naʹja melanoleuca [-le u ʹka])
and rhino puff adder.
The fish fauna is rich, especially in the Niger River.
fennel and other pike, elephant nosefish and in the northern
lung fish species Protoʹpterus anneʹctens. Nile
crocodile, hippopotamus and senegal manate (Tricheʹchus
senegaleʹnsis) are also found in the river.
Insects include goliath beetles, migratory ants and many
species of day butterflies.
In 2010, Nigeria had eight national parks, including
Kainji, forest savannah in the northwest with elephant,
African buffalo, hippopotamus and antelope, and Cross River
rainforest park in the southeast. In addition, there were a
large number of game reserves. The national parks occupy
about 3% of the land area.