Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Togo and Benin

  • André Guilcher
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_170


The coastlines of the two small West African states, Togo and Benin, are similar and can be discussed together. Togo has an 80 km coastline and Benin about 110 km. The large West African Pre-Cambrian shield slopes beneath a coastal belt of Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Quaternary rocks 35–130 km wide. The Upper Tertiary sedimentary capping rocks consist of continental sandy clays, called the Terre de Barre (barral means clay in Portuguese), which form a plateau 20–70 m above sea level.

This plateau was deeply incised by rivers during Pleistocene low sea level phases, but the valleys thus formed have been partly filled by Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediment that form the coastal complex, bounded along the Atlantic shore by a long, straight, monotonous sandy barrier beach which impounds a chain of lagoons and swamps.

The Togo and Benin has a humid tropical climate with two rainy seasons (May–July and October–November) and a relatively dry season from December to May. Lomé has...


Beach Ridge Marine Transgression Coastal Barrier West African State Lagoon Floor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Guilcher

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