Land and Resources, Natural Regions
Sunderbans, alluvial soil, Sundarbans, Hugli, Brahmaputra
Most of Bangladesh lies within the broad delta formed by the Ganges (Ganga), Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers and is subject to annual flooding. Much fertile, alluvial soil is deposited by the floodwaters. Most of the land is exceedingly flat and low-lying. The only significant area of hilly terrain, constituting less than one-tenth of the country’s territory, is the Chittagong Hill Tracts District in the narrow southeastern panhandle of the country. There, on the border with Myanmar, is Mowdok Mual (1,003 m/3,291 ft), the country’s highest point. Small, scattered hills lie along or near the eastern and northern borders with India. These areas, which receive among the heaviest rainfall in the world, provide the headwaters of the Meghna and its tributaries. The eroded remnants of two old alluvial terraces—the Madhupur Tract, in the north central part of the country, and the Barind, straddling the northwestern boundary with India—attain elevations of about 30 m (100 ft). The soil here is much less fertile than the annually replenished alluvium of the surrounding floodplain.
A huge tract of mangrove swamp, the Sundarbans (Sunderbans), lies along the coast of Bangladesh and West Bengal between the estuaries of the Meghna and Hugli (Hooghly) rivers. The Sundarbans extends about 274 km (170 mi) along the Bay of Bengal and about 100 km (62 mi) inland. It contains a vast number of tidal rivers and innumerable islands, but very little development or agriculture.
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