Guinea, Upper

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Guinea, Upper


(1) Name of part of the Atlantic coast of Africa between Cap Roxo on the west and the tip of the Bight of Biafra on the east.

(2) Northern Guinea—a natural region of West Africa adjoining the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea on the west and south and bounded on the north by 10°-12° N lat. and on the east by 9°-10° E long. The coasts on the extreme west are broken up into small abraded embayments. In other areas the coasts are mostly leveled abrasion and abrasion-deposit lagoon areas, and in the far east there is delta land (the Niger delta). Mountain massifs, structural plateaus, and elevated socle plains rise above a narrow strip of coastal lowland. Parts of them rise gradually, and other parts rise in steep ledges. They are grouped under the general name Northern Guinea Highlands. Elevations are mostly from 500 to 1,000 m, with the highest elevation 1,948 m (Mount Bintimani). The Northern Guinea Highlands descend gently into the interior of the continent, passing imperceptibly into the plains of the Western Sudan. (Therefore, the northern boundary of Upper Guinea is indefinite.) The Northern Guinea Highlands border on the Adamawa Plateau on the east. The climate is equatorial-monsoon—hot, with humid summers. On the coast east of 10° W long., the climate is similar to the typical equatorial, constantly humid climate.

Upper Guinea has a dense river network. The largest rivers are the Niger (which flows across Upper Guinea in its upper and lower reaches) and the Volta. On the coastal lowlands and windward southern slopes of the massifs and plateaus there are humid evergreen equatorial and deciduous-evergreen sub-equatorial forests on reddish yellow lateritic soils. (Their area has been greatly reduced by logging.) Man-groves are found on the flat, tidal coasts and at the mouths of rivers, especially in the Niger delta. In interior areas, secondary tall-grass savannas on red lateritic soils prevail in place of destroyed forests. The Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Dahomey, Nigeria, and Bissau are located entirely or partly within Upper Guinea.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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