Liberia Morphology and Climate

By | June 6, 2022

Morphology. – We can divide the soil of Liberia into three roughly parallel zones: the low coast, now well known and acquired by civilization; the intermediate shelf, fairly well known in general terms, and the internal plateau, for the most part little or known point. The coast of Liberia, designated in the early days of European reconnaissance and colonization, as we have said, with the name of Costa dei Grani or del Pepe, the famous “Malaguette” of the French merchants of the century. XIV, develops for about 600 km. from the mouth of the Mano to that of the Cavally. It is generally low, uniform, interrupted by elevated and rocky protrusions, which sometimes form real heads or promontories, and by the mouths of small but numerous watercourses. On The northern edge of these headlands are the best landings and anchorages in Liberia. The most prominent and prominent of these projections are therefore the Mount, Mesurado and Palmas heads. Far less important, from the point of view of navigation, are the mouths of the rivers, more or less obstructed by the bars. The undertow, i tornados, so frequent in the transition period between the dry and wet seasons, the light morning mists make navigation not very free and easy, especially along the eastern section of the Liberian coast. The only island of any importance is that of Perseverance, opposite Monrovia. Immediately behind the coastal selvedge there is a strip of depressed, marshy land, 10 to 20 km deep, very hot and unhealthy. In the selvedge and in the low coast, the marine and alluvial Tertiary formations naturally prevail.

According to Homosociety, 10-20 km from the coast the soil of Liberia gradually begins to rise up to the vast threshold of Upper Guinea, in which, as far as we know or can be inferred, the characteristic archaic substructure soils (gneiss, crystalline schists, granites, etc..) more or less metamorphosed (laterites). Only in the most rugged area, between the Mano river and the St Paul, are there vast formations of the primary period (micascists, quartzites, sandstones). The intermediate area consists of a hilly level of modest height, on which, here and there, larger reliefs rise. The innermost area of ​​the territory is an integral part of the great threshold of Upper Guinea, and is therefore constituted by a real plateau, higher on average than 500 m., Generally flat or slightly undulating, here and there interrupted by more or less wide and high mountain ridges. Not far from the internal border of Liberia rise Mount Daro, Mount Nimba and Mount Druple, which, together with the peaks of Futa Gialon, constitute the highest elevations of the Alto Guineese plateau; it seems that even in Liberian territory some mountains reach 1500 m.

Climate. – Liberia is located almost entirely in the Guinean area and of this it has, of course, all the most marked climatic characteristics: temperatures that are not absolutely excessive and distributed with great uniformity over the course of the day and year, abundant rainfall for eight or nine months of the year; winds from the third quadrant predominate, resulting in a hot-humid, heavy, unhealthy climate especially for whites. More particularly, the average temperature fluctuates between 27 ° in the warmest month and 25 ° in the coolest month. In the hottest season, which is the dry one, corresponding to our winter, the temperature in the shade fluctuates between 24 ° and 32 °. The low coast is uniformly hot and muggy: in the intermediate area the mornings are relatively cool. As for rainfall, Liberia is one of the wettest regions in West Africa. In fact, it receives from 3000 to 4000 mm. of rain per year; the quantity generally decreases from O. to E. The rains are distributed over a long period of about 8 months, April-November; it is sometimes interspersed with a less rainy period corresponding to autumn. The maximum rainfall occurs in the heart of summer, when the rain falls in deluge, accompanied by violent storms. The only actually dry season is that which runs from December to early April, during which, and more especially in December and January, the “harmattan”, NE wind blows over Liberia. which, in the hours of the night, greatly mitigates the heat of the dry season. tornados. The hygrometric state of the air, however, is always very humid, and even in the dry season, night and morning mists form, and the sky is often overcast. What we have mentioned so far applies, as we have already warned, more than anything else for the area up to 120-130 km. from the sea: in the area, more inland, towards the borders with French Guinea and the Ivory Coast, it is very probable that the climatic conditions are quite different. In fact, it appears from the news we have, especially for the Mandingo plateau, that the temperature is more varied, milder even in the dry season, and that the rains are less abundant and distributed in a single and shorter season.

Mining and fishing. – The subsoil contains, in the experience of the natives and in the opinion of travelers, iron, copper, coal, bitumen, diamonds, gold. Fishing is active and profitable along the coast, where it is practiced especially by the Kru.

Liberia Morphology