Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
TANZANIA, SITUATED IN east Africa just south of the equator, is a country characterized by high environmental, ecosystem, and cultural diversity. Much of Tanzania is also characterized by low-lying plains extending in from the coastal area in addition to the low-lying island archipelagos dominated by the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar. Inland there is the Eastern Arc Mountain chain, which is formed from heavily metamorphosed pre-Cambrian basement rocks, periodically uplifted by faulting and weathering over millions of years. The mountains rise to 8,350 ft. (2,600 m.) in altitude, although maximum altitudes of 2,200 to 2,500 m. are more typical and cover an area of 2,085 sq. mi. (5,400 sq. km.). Farther west there is a high plateau of gently undulating terrain commonly between 4,920 and 6,561 ft. (1,500 and 2,000 m.). To the north of Tanzania, the landscape is dominated by the quite recent (2 million years old) ...