Western Shoreline of Madagascar – April 4th, 201019.6S 44.2E
The west coast of Madagascar, composed of sedimentary formations deposited in several layers over time, is more indented than the east coast, especially in the northwest, thus offering a number of fine harbors sheltered from cyclones, such as the harbor at Mahajanga.
Deep bays and well-protected harbors have attracted explorers, traders, and pirates from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East since ancient times; thus, the area has served as an important bridge between Madagascar and the outside world.
Silting up of harbors on this coast, caused by sediment from the high levels of erosion suffered inland in Madagascar, is a major problem. Here, several rivers can be seen spilling golden, tan and rusty red sediments into the Mozambique Channel.
The broad alluvial plains found on the coast between Mahajanga (Majunga) and Toliara (Tuléar), which are believed to have great agricultural potential, are thinly inhabited, in many places covered with swamps of Madagascar mangroves, and remain largely unexplored, although they are the subject of growing minerals and hydrocarbons exploration activity.
The giant oil fields of Tsimiroro (heavy oil) and Bemolanga (ultra heavy oil) lie towards the west of the island.