Madagascar topographic map
Click on the map to display elevation.
About this map
Name: Madagascar topographic map, elevation, terrain.
Average elevation: 139 m
Minimum elevation: -1 m
Maximum elevation: 2,568 m
The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana resulted in the separation of East Gondwana (comprising Madagascar, Antarctica, Australia and the Indian subcontinent) and West Gondwana (Africa–South America) during the Jurassic period, around 185 million years ago. The Indo-Madagascar landmass separated from Antarctica and Australia around 125 million years ago and Madagascar separated from the Indian landmass about 84–92 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous. This long history of separation from other continents has allowed plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m (2,460 to 4,920 ft) above sea level. These central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that formerly covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the increasingly arid terrain gradually slopes down to the Mozambique Channel and mangrove swamps along the coast.
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