Grenada is a small independent island nation located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. Located 12?07’N of the equator and 61?40’W of the prime meridian Grenada is the largest island in the Grenadine archipelago which is a group of islands between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Grenada is 19 kilometres in length and 34 kilometres wide and the total area is 348.5 square kilometres. The country lies northeast of Venezuela and north-west of Trinidad and Tobago as mentioned in the world book discovery encyclopedia (2009). The country comprises of the main islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique other smaller islands which make up the island state.
The capital is St. George. The official spoken language is English. According to Eric V.B Britter (2018) the estimated population of the country in 2017 was 113,000 people, this makes it one of the smallest country in the world. These 113,000 people then are part of the 15 constituencies which makes up the country.According to funk & wagnalls new encyclopedia (1987) the island was first discovered by the famous Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in 1498.
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Prior to its discovery the island was inhabited by the indigenous Arawak people later on by the island Caribs. Even though the island was considered as the property of Spain, the Spanish had never set foot on the island. It was until 1650 when the French people first settled and began colonising the island. For one hundred and fifty years the Europeans were unsuccessful in their efforts of colonising the island because of the island Caribs hostility and resistance to colonisation.
In 1762 the British gained control of the island, but the French then recaptured and regained control over the island in 1779 and in 1783 it was handed over to the British under the Treaty of Paris. According to Wikipedia (2018) Grenada gained full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State in 1967 on the 3rd of March with Herbert Blaize as the first premier. Grenada was granted independence on 7th February 1974. After independence the country faced great political turmoil; in 1979 Eric Gairy’s who was the first prime minister of Grenada was overthrown by Maurice Bishop who led the Marxist – Leninist New Jewel Movement and established the People’s Revolutionary Government with Bishop as the prime minister. In 1983 Bishop was placed under house arrest when Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard led a coup against Bishop’s government. According to the new encyclopedia Britannica (2007) Maurice Bishop was later executed by soldiers when he tried to regain power. Also as stated in Eric V.
B Britter from Britannica (2018) the country was invaded by forces from the United States of America and the Barbados based Regional Security System on October 25th 1983 under the operation code-named Operation Urgent Fury which was led by the United States. The form of government is the constitutional monarchy which is the British monarch represented by the governor general and headed by the prime minister. TYPE OF CLIMATEThe location of a place is one of the important factors that influence climate in that area. Grenada is located 12?03 north of the equator so it has a tropical climate and an average temperature of 28?C. The trade north-east winds regularly temper the climate of Grenada. The tropical climate in Grenada is characterized by two distinct seasons that is the humid and hot rainy season (wet season) that occurs between the months of June and December and the dry season between January and May. The amount of rainfall and temperature gradually increases between the mid-April and late May.
RAINFALLThe country receives a sufficient amount of rainfall all year round. According to the climates to travel (2018) annual rainfall varies between 1,500 – 2,000 mm along the coasts and 2,000 – 3,000 mm in the mountainous interior areas. The rainy season lasts from June to December with November being the wettest month. The rains in Grenada occur through the whole year predominantly in the form of downpours or thunderstorms. Thunderstorms and downpours may be intense but it usually does not last long.
TEMPERATUREThe temperatures vary all year round in range with altitude and normal average temperature is 28?C – 29?C. The temperature between the months of January and February is 26?C and 28?C in the months between July and November. However diurnal ranges in between a 24 hour period are easily noticed; the temperatures during the day will be much higher than as it will be during the night, for example temperature can range between 26?C – 29?C during the day time and 19?C – 24?C in the night time.TYPE OF VEGETATIONThe vegetation of Grenada varies. The interior of the island is mostly dominated by lush tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforest acts as canopy over the sheltered valleys below the mountaintops, where rainfall usually exceeds 150 inches per year. Trees like teak, mahogany, saman well known to people as the rain tree, and blue mahoe all of which are strong fibred trees grows in the forests and are used for timber. The rainforest is also home to various species of wildlife such as the mona monkey, the manicou which is a specie of opossum, the agouti a rabbit sized rodent with a brown coat and the iguana with other animals.
In conjunction with the tropical rain forests according to Gwen Bruno USA Today (2017) the island also has slightly drier areas where seasonal rainforests or dry forests grow. There are mangrove swamps along some parts of the coastline as well which are home to various species of mangrove crabs. The islands beaches and dry leeward coasts support very little vegetation which includes thorn trees, cactus, shrubs and other plant types that can grow on sand like soil.VARIOUS TYPES OF LANDFORMSGrenada is the southernmost island of the north – south arc of the Lesser Antilles volcanic island arc. The country is volcanic in origin with a mountainous interior with a merging topography of high peaks and deep – narrow valleys.
The country might be small in area but its terrains vary widely. Amongst the three main islands Grenada is the most mountainous. Ridges of mountains run north and south with the steeper slopes running to the west and a more moderate slope to the east and southeast. Veronica Scherbak (2014) pointed out that Grenada was a submarine volcano located along what is now known as the Lesser Antilles subduction zone two million years ago. The oceanic crust of the South American plate is being subducted under the oceanic crust of the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles. The Caribbean plate subducts the South American plate and it losses elusive materials that partly melts the mantle of the overriding plate.
This causes magma to thrust out through the lithosphere of the Caribbean plate because it is less dense causing volcanic eruptions. The Lesser Antilles island arc, including Grenada and a chain of volcanic islands were formed because of this continuous process that happened for nearly two million years. Volcanic vents and boiling springs are evidences of Grenada’s geographic volcanic history. Most of its extinct volcanic craters have become lakes, for example Grand Etang Lake which is located right at the centre of the island of Grenada at 1,740 feet above sea level. In Grenada today there are two active volcanoes that are part of the volcanic chain; Kick’em Jenny and Mount Saint Catherine.
Kick’em Jenny located 8km off the coast of Grenada is a submarine volcano. As stated by Veronica Scherbak (2014) in her BlogSpot Kick’em Jenny is the most active volcano in the Lesser Antilles, erupting about every ten years. Although it is the most active volcano there is not much immediate danger because it is too deep for the volcanic eruption to reach the surface. The volcano may rise above sea level in the next 100 years as a result of its ascension rate.
Mount Saint Catherine is the highest point at the island at 840 metres which is approximately 2,760 feet tall. According to Veronica Scherbak (2014) Mount Saint Catherine is a stratovolcano so called because it is made up of different layers of strata. It has not erupted in recorded history but there is a slight chance that the volcano may erupt in the near future. On the other hand it bears little threat to the people of Grenada. TYPES OF RESOURCESTourism and agriculture are solely the most important sectors of Grenada’s economy. Also known as the island of spices or isle of spice as mentioned in the world book encyclopedia of people and places page 97 Grenada is the leading producer of several different spices; Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice, orange/citrus peels and nutmeg are all important exports.
Nutmeg alone provides 20% of the world supply as Grenada is the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world after Indonesia and nutmeg is also shown on the Grenadian flag. The nutmeg industry in Grenada began in 1843 when one of the English merchant ship loaded with a few nutmeg trees left some on the island, this later on led to Grenada becoming supplier of nutmeg to the western world. Other major agricultural export include cocoa, bananas, copra and other products processed from coconuts, and also a wide variety of tropical fruits; passion fruit, guavas, citrus fruits, mangoes and tamarind are grown and exported as stated in the world book encyclopedia of people and places (2004). The rainforests of Grenada also yield mostly mahogany and teak for the forestry industry. CONCLUSIONPopularly known as the island of spice Grenada is a small independent island nation in the Caribbean’s. Discovered in the late 1400’s by famous explorer Christopher Columbus Grenada was granted full autonomy in 1967 and later on gained independence in 1974.
The country went on to face great political unrest in the past years after gaining independency but it did not stop them from believing that their government will again be on the right track. The country has a tropical climate and experiences two distinct seasons the wet and dry season. Alongside its tropical climate Grenada has various vegetation types, the dominant one being lush tropical rainforests in the mountainous interior parts of the island which are home to a variety of plants and animal species.
Beautiful white sandy beaches stretch wide along the coast meeting with mangrove swamps in some parts of the island. Beside its volcanic origin the island is part of the Lesser Antilles volcanic island arc which was formed by subducting plates. The economy of the country is mainly generated by agriculture and tourism as mining of mineral resources is not done in Grenada. A small country like Grenada with beautiful scenery, vegetation and tropical climate with no big factories to produce smog is certainly a getaway for one if they want to relax and enjoy the clean fresh air of the lushes’ forests or the fresh salty air from its beautiful small islands and sandy beaches