Physical geography of the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands

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  • Nov, 2022

Ceríaco, L.M.P., Santos, B.S., de Lima, R.F., Bell, R.C., Norder, S.J. & Melo, M. (2022) Physical geography of the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands. Biodiversity of the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands. Science and Conservation (ed. by Ceríaco, L.M.P., de Lima, R.F., Melo, M. and Bell, R.C.). Springer. DOI:10.1007/978-3-031-06153-0_2.


The Gulf of Guinea, in the Atlantic coast of Central Africa, has three oceanic islands that arose as part of the Cameroon Volcanic Line. From northeast to southwest these are Príncipe (139 km2), São Tomé (857 km2), and Annobón (17 km2). Although relatively close to the adjacent mainland, the islands have distinct climactic and geomorphologic characteristics, and have remained isolated throughout their geological history. Consequently, they have developed a unique biodiversity, rich in endemic species. We provide an integrated overview of the physical setting of the islands, including their geographic location, geological origin, topography, geology and soils, climate zones, and prevailing wind and ocean currents-key features that underlie the evolution of their biodiversity.


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