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Ghana Land Forms

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Ghana is generally low relief country, except in the east, where the Akwapim-Togo mountain ranges rise into the landscape. From the Atlantic coast inland, it is almost entirely low plains.

The Low Plains comprise the four subregions of the coastal savanna: the Volta Delta, Accra Plains, and the Akan Lowlands. This coastal coastal Savannah, only about eight kilometers in width at its western end extends eastward through the Accra plains where it widens to eighty kilometers, and ends at the south eastern corner of the country at the lower end of the Akwapim - Togo ranges.

The Volta Delta extends into the Gulf of Guinea in the extreme southeast. The Delta consists of rock formations - thick layers of sandstone, some limestone, and silt deposits. The Delta is flat, featureless, and relatively young. As the delta grew outward over the centuries, sandbars developed across the mouths of the Volta and smaller rivers that empty into the gulf, forming numerous lagoons. This region supports shallot, corn and cassava.

The almost flat and featureless Accra plains descend gradually to the gulf from a height of 150 meters. The topography east of the city of Accra is marked by a succession of ridges and valleys. The hills and slopes in this area are usually used for cultivation. Shifting cultivation is the usual agricultural practice because the low-lying areas during the rainy seasons and when the rivers are blocked at the coast by sandbars are swampy. In 1984, there was a plan introduced to irrigate the Accra plains. If this plan were to become reality, a large portion of the plains could be open to large-scale cultivation.

In the west of Accra, the low plains contain broader valleys, and round, low hills with a few rocky headlands. Mostly however, the land is flat and covered with grass and scrub. Thick patches of coconut palms dot the coastline. Along the coastline there are several commercial centers, including Winneba, Salt Pond, and Cape Coast. Winneba has small livestock industry and palm tree cultivation, expanding inland. However, the predominant occupation of the indigenous coastal inhabitants is fishing by dugout canoe.

The Akan Lowlands consists of the basins of the Densu River, the Pra River, the Ankobra River and the Tano River. All four play important roles in Ghana's economy. The Densu River Basin where the critical urban centers of Koforidua and Nsawam are located, have undulating topography. Many of the hills have craggy summits which gives the landscape and striking appearance. The upper section of the Pra River Basin to the west of the Densu, is relatively flat. The topography of its lower reaches resembles that of the Densu Basin, and is a rich cocoa and food producers. The Ankobra River Basin and the middle and lower basins of the Tano River, to the west of the lowlands form the largest subdivision of Akan Lowlands.

The Ashanti Uplands, comprised of the Southern Ashanti Uplands and the Kwahu Plateau, lie just north of the Akan Lowlands and stretch from the Cote d'Ivoire border in the west to the elevated edge of the Volta Basin in the east. Stretching in a northwest to southwest direction, the Kwahu Plateau extends 193 km between Koforidua in the east and Wenchi in the northwest. The average elevation of the plateau is about 450 m, rising to a maximum 762 m. The plateau form one of the most important physical divides in Ghana. From its northeastern slopes, the Aram and Pru Rivers flow into the Volta River, while from the opposite side the Pra, Birim, Ofin, Tano and other rivers flow towards the sea. The plateau also marks the northernmost limit of the forest zone. The Southern Ashanti Uplands, extending from the foot of the Kwahu Plateau in the north to the lowlands in the south, slope gently from an elevation of approximately 300 m in the north to about 150 m in the south. The region, however, contains several hills and ranges, as well as towns of historical and economical importance.

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