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Arima Report

Arima Report

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Published by: The Cropper Foundation on Sep 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/19/2011

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In this case study:
 A 
Arima
valley
 THE CROPPER FOUNDATION
 
In this section:
•NorthernRangewatershedarea:contributiontoTrinidad’sfreshwaterresources•Ecosystems:forests,freshwaterandbiodiversityIn1952WilliamBeebeundertookastudyontheArimaValley.Hisstudiesyieldedveryimportantinformationontheecologyandecosystemsinthearea,andarestillextensivelyusedinworkontheArimaValley.
1
ManyofthedescriptionsprovidedinthesectionsonLocationandTopography,Climate,Vegetation,andFauna,aredrawnfromthisstudy.TheArimaValleyliesparallelandmidwaybetweenapproximatelyfteenvalleysthattransectthesouthernsideoftheNorthernRange.Allofthesevalleysareorientednorth-south.TheArimaValleyislocatednorthofthetownofArima,andextendsfromthefoothillsoftheNorthernRangetotheridgeoftheNorthernRangeforadistanceofabout8.45kmalongtheground.Morespecically,theValleyislocatedbetween10
o
37’and10
o
43’Nlatitudeand61
o
16’and61
o
18’Wlongitude.TheValleyrisestoaheightofabout840m,withsteephillsidegradientsof1:3insomeareas.
Section 1Location & Topography
Figure 1: Map of Arima ValleySource: Ordnance Survey (1930)
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1
WilliamBeebe,“IntroductiontotheEcologyoftheArimaValley”,
 Zoologica
37(1952)
 
Rainfall
RainfallintheArimaValleyisinuencedbytwodistinctseasons:thewetseason(fromJunetoDecember)andthedryseason(fromJanuarytoMay).ThepatternofthewetanddryseasonsisdeterminedbythemovementoftheInterTropicalConvergenceZone(ITCZ)–aglobalweathersystemthatinuencestheclimateofmanyareas.Theaverageannualrainfallrangesbetween2000and2400mm.Approximately70%to80%ofallprecipitationoccursintherainyseason,withamajorcontributionofthisfromtheITCZ.
2
OrographicrainfallgeneratedfromtheupwardmovementoftheNortheastTradeWindsoncontactwiththeNorthernRangealsocontributestorainfallintheValley,andismoresignicantinthedryseason.
Temperature
Temperaturevariesalongthevalley,usuallydecreasingfromthevalleybottomtothetopofthevalley.Thistemperaturechangeiscausedbyadiabaticcoolingduetothedifferencesinelevationoftheland.TemperatureintheValleyaveragesbetween18–30
o
Cbutcanfallaslowas17
 
o
CathigherelevationsintheValley.
Humidity and Winds
HumidityintheArimaValleyalsovarieswithadirectrelationshiptotemperature.HumidityintheValleyisusuallyintheupper70sorlower80s.TheprevailingwindsaretheNortheastTrades,whichgenerallyblowinasouth-westdirection.Notethatwindsarenamedafterthedirectionfromwhichtheyblow.
Climate
Figure 2: Isohyetal Map of the Northern Region of Trinidad 
Source: Piarco Meterological Ofce
(unpublished; pers comm.. 2004) in NRA (2005)
2
EMA,“StateoftheEnvironmentReport”,1998.
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