Ivory Coast

Geography

Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) is a sub-Saharan nation in southern West Africa and is the westernmost country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea in the north Atlantic Ocean. It borders Liberia to the southwest, Guinea to the northwest, Mali and Burkina Faso to the north and Ghana in the east. Côte d'Ivoire has an area of 322,463km2, of which 4,460km2 is water. From a coastal lowland with inland lagoons, the terrain gradually rises to a smooth forest plateau in the central region and then to upland savannas with an elevation of almost 500m in the north. Mountains occur in the far west of the country along the border with Guinea and Liberia. The highest elevation is Mount Nimba, at 1,752 metres. The climate ranges from equatorial in the southern coasts which support dense evergreen forests to tropical in the middle and semiarid in the far north.

Geology

Almost all of the Côte d'Ivoire is underlain by rocks of Precambrian age, both pre-Birrimian Archean crystalline basement and Paleoproterozoic supercrustal metasediments/volcanics; all forming part of the West African Craton. Cenozoic sediments occur along the southern-southeastern coastal strip. The Precambrian units are subdivided into a western domain of Archean aged high grade, granulitic, gneiss and migmatite with subordinate granitoids and a central and eastern domain of medium-low grade Proterozoic rocks present as a series of NE-SW trending subparallel volcanic belts and intervening sedimentary basins. The two domains are separated by the N-S trending Sassandra mylonitic zone. The sedimentary –volcanic belts are locally intruded by extensive S-type granitoids.