PHYSICAL SETTINGPost Comment PHYSICAL SETTING Nigeria
Geology and Relief: Geologically, the State characterized by very old igneous and metamori rocks, formed during the
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precambrianPaleo; State era. Two rock types are found granites metasediments. The granites (including undifferiated granites), gneisses and migmatites are lively resistant to erosion, but when weather f the they result into poor soils. The metasediments, neral the other hand, consist of phyllites, quartzites and metaconglomerates.
Although to metasediments are also resistant to erosion, weathered, they give rise to more fertile soils account of the fact that the schists are rich in magnesium minerals. In general, the relief of the State bears relationship to its geology. The State's land surfa is made up of mainly the high plains (being part Local the Hausa High Plains of Northern Nigeria) (Uckura, 1970).
The only exception to this is the an ioda, extending northeastwards from Talata Mafara ' and Moriki. Here can be found a dissected plateau crystalline rocks composed of a series or range hills around Maru, as well as the characterist and large, steepsided smoothdome shaped hills calls , the inselbergs, exemplified by the Kotorkoshi Hill It is Surrounding the inselbergs are plains which are used for farming. The general elevation of the lan :o the ranges from 244m to 366m above sealevel (Abd and Swindel, 1982).
Climate: Zamfara state enjoys a tropical type of climate, largely controlled by two masses, namely, the Tropical Maritime
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from the state Atlantic and the Tropical Continental from the sena Sahara and the Middle East.
Temperature: The hottest months in Zarnfarc irates state are March and April, that is just before th( 3 are onset of the first rains. The onset of the rains tendi Falata to bring a cooling effect with temperatures dropping iir, as below 36°C (90°F). The peak of the rainy season from about July to September except towards the lever, end of November/October when the tropical safe continental air masses from the Sahara predominate This leads to lower temperatures of around 17°C nirate 20°C. 5 play
Rainfall: The mean annual rainfall in the State varies slightly, from the northern to the southern parts of the State. For example, while Gumir records an average of 579mm of rainfall, Talata is Mafara records 798mm, Kaura Namoda 990mn char and Moriki 1,020mm. The onset of the rains, on the average, is between midMarch and May, lasting for about six months till the end of October.
Soils And Vegetation: Two major soil types ferruginous tropical soils and lithosols dominate Zarnfara State. The ferruginous tropical soils can be found in the northern and central parts of the State, particularly around Gummi, Bukkuyum, Anka and Bakura. Other areas in which such soil occur include Talata Mafara, Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, Shinkafi and Kaura Namoda. The soils are characterised by a sandy surface horizon, with a clayey subsoil, both of which are fertile for agricultural pro duction.
They are susceptible to erosion, since the top soil is easily washed off by rainwater, especial ly if the vegetation cover is removed. On the other hand, lithosols, usually associated with ferruginous soils, can be found towards the eastern part of the State, particularly in such areas as Tsafe, Gusau, Maru and Bungudu. The soil is not only of low agri cultural productivity but are also susceptible to erosion.
The vegetation of the State consists of Sudan and Northern Guinea Savannah. The Sudan Savanna occur in the western, northern and eastern parts of the State. Like in other parts of the country where this biome occurs, it is structurally characterised by woodlands, where grasses occur either totally or mixed with other herbaceous or shrubby plants. They are green in the rainy season with fresh leaves, but become dry during the dry season. To the southern part of the state, is found the Northern Guinea Savannah. This vegetation type is largely found in the safe Gusau and Anka LGAs.
Ecological Problems: Like most states in the northern most parts of the country, Zarnfara State suffers from desertification, and environmental degradation arising from indiscriminate felling of trees for fuelwood. In addition to these, there is the problem of erosion as well as occasional floods, when heavy rains occur and rivers and dams over flow their banks.
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