PHYSICAL SETTINGPost Comment PHYSICAL SETTING Nigeria
The state is geographically located within latitude 4°15' North and latitude 5°23' south. It is also within longitudes 5°22' West
Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation,Yenagoa
and 6°45' East. The state is bounded by Delta State on the north, Rivers State on the east and the Atlantic Ocean on the western and southern parts.
Geology: Bayelsa State is located within the lower delta plain believed to have been formed during the Holocene of the quaternary period by the accumulation of sedimentary deposits. The major geological characteristic of the state is sedimentary alluvium. The entire state is formed of abandoned beach ridges and due to many tributaries of the River Niger in this plain, considerable geological changes still abound.
Soils: The major soil types in the state are young, shallow, poorly drained soils (inceptisol Aquepts) and acid sulphate soils (Sulphaquepts). There are variations in the soils of Bayelsa State; some soil types occupy extensive areas whereas others are of limited extent. However, based on physiographic differences, several soil units could be identified in the state.
These include:The soils of the high-lying levees e.g. sandy loam, loamy sandy, and Silty loamy soils as well as sands; The soils of the low-lying leaves e.g. the moderately fine texture, red silty or clay loamy soils; The meander belt soils which differ only slightly from the soils of the levels. The silted river belt soils e.g. peat for clay water bogged soils found mainly in the beds of dead creeks and streams. The basin soils e.g. silky clay loam or sandy loam which are inundated by water for most of the year; The transition zone soils e.g. silt and sandy silt which are known to be under the daily influence of tidal floods and fresh waters. There are pockets of potash deficiency especially in the sandy soils. The texture of majority of the soils range from medium to fine grains.
Relief: Generally, Bayelsa State is a lowland state characterised by tidal flats and coastal beaches, beach ridge barriers and flood
Crude Oil Exploration,Bayelsa State
plains. The net features such as cliffs and lagoons are the dorni- j by nant relief features of the state. The fact that the nnal state lies between the upper and lower Delta plain of the Niger Delta suggests a low-lying relief. The broad plain is gentle-sloping. The height or elevation decreases downstream. There are numerous streams of varying volumes and velocities in the united state. These include Rivers Nun, Ekoli, Brass, . Koluama, et cetera.
Climate and Vegetation: The climate is homointic geneous. Rainfall in Bayelsa State varies in quantity from one area to another. The state experiences equatorial type of climate in the southern the most part and tropical rain towards the northern parts. Rain occurs generally every month of the the year with heavy downpour.
The state experiences ajor high rainfall but this decreases from south to north. Akassa town in the state has the highest rainfall ned record in Nigeria. The climate is tropical i.e. wet and the dry season. The amount of rainfall is adequate for all-year-round crop production. The wet season is not less than 340 days.
The mean monthly temperature is in the range are of 25°C to 31°C. Mean maximum monthly temper- tisol atures range from 26°C to 31°C. The mean annual . temperature is uniform for the entire Bayelsa State. The hottest months are December to April. The difference between the wet season and dry season on temperatures is about 2°C at the most. Relative humidity is high in the state throughout the year and decreases slightly in the dry season.
Commercial Water Supply Service,Yenagoa
Like any other state in the Niger Delta, the vegetation of Bayelsa State is composed of four ecological logical zones. These include: coastal barrier island forests, mangrove forests, freshwater swamp e.g. forests and lowland rain forests. These different or vegetation types are associated with the various soil units in the area, and they constitute part of the complex Niger Delta ecosystems. Parts of the fresh water swamp forests in the state constitute the home of several threatened and even endangered for plant and animal species.
The only known endemicly in mamalia, the sclaters guenon, is found in this state. Generally, along the ridges above the tideline, exist or vegetation of palms with scattered trees while man by groves dominate the water courses cutting through the sand to the sea and on the edges of lagoons and behind sand ridges.
There are coastal barrier highland forests and and mangrove forests. Coastal barrier highland forest vegetation is restricted to the narrow ridges along the coast. This vegetation belt is characterised by low salinity-tolerant fresh water plants. Sometimes of the Avicinia species of mangroves prevail in this vegetation.
Palms such as phoenix reclivata and other species such as Uapacia, Xylopia and land Taminalia are predominant. In this belt, commercial ach- timber species are found. The mangrove vegeta- net- tion of the state is usually found between mid-tide elief level to extreme hiqh-water mark. This vegetation linked with the brackish swamps which form a maze of water courses and highlands affected by the ebb and flow of tides.
Ecological Problems:Bayelsa State is one of the states within the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This region has been described as "a region of physical handicap which is unlikely ever to be highly developed". The region is a low-lying plain riddled with an intricate system of water channels through which the Niger finds its way into the sea. The state has very difficult terrain that constrains settlement development or expansion, accessibility to settlement sites and exploitation of natural resources.
Human activities are largely determined by natural conditions and other ecological opportu- nities. These hostile ecological conditions limit the occupation of the people to fishing. Bayelsa is a region which already has too much surface water with a high rainfall and long rainy days. This poses considerable problems for human settlement and land use. Almost every part of the state is under water at one time of the year or another. Associated with high rainfall, long rainy days, porous and very sandy soils, is prolonged and disastrous flood. These flooding incidents cause continual changing of river courses in the state and renders rivers useless as good channels of transportation.
State Assembly Residential Quarters (under construction),Yenagoa
They also have a tremendous influence on the pattern of human life and economic activities in the state. Highlands which are dry throughout the year and can therefore be used as settlement sites and for agricultural practices are very limited. Inter-settlement movements in the state have been restricted because of poor road and water transport development. The available roads are those within the towns and villages.
There are near total absence of inter-town links. The terrain of the state makes the development of land-based trans- portation difficult requiring the application of modem and costly technologies. Inter-state movement is restricted to water transport which is equally confronted with many problems. Exploitation of forest resources is equally constrained by the terrain of the region. The major ecological problems of the state are thus flooding, coastal erosion and pollution.
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