Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

West Africa – Editorial Introduction

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_161

The African Plate began to separate from the South American Plate in Jurassic times, and the intervening area has since become the Atlantic Ocean. The West African coast has three main divisions: from the Strait of Gibraltar south to Cape Verde in Senegal; from Cape Verde to the mouth of the Congo; and from there to the Cape of Good Hope (Orme 2005). It is covered in  Mauritania,  Senegal and Gambia,  Guinea Bissau,  Republic of Guinea,  Sierra Leone,  Liberia,  Ivory Coast,  Ghana,  Togo and Benin,  Nigeria,  Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea,  Gabon, Congo, Cabinda and Zaïre,  Angola and  Namibia

The Atlantic coast of Morocco runs across the axes of the Atlas Mountains, which consist of several parallel ranges produced by Alpine folding and trending northeast to southwest. There are narrow coastal plains between ridges that protrude in headlands. Rivers draining the mountains supply sediment to the coast, particularly ­during the rainy winter season. The mean spring tide range...


Niger Delta Ivory Coast African Plate Mobile Dune Dune Ridge 
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  1. Orme AR (2005) Africa, coastal geomorphology. In: Schwartz ML (ed) Encyclopedia of Coastal Science. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 13–16Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010