According to the Philippine Regional Resources Atlas, Volume 1, 1990, published by the DENR, the municipality of Nueva Era has been placed at approximately 17°56” north latitude by 120°41” east longitude. It is bounded on the southwest by the municipalities of San Juan, Cabugao and Sinait of the province of Ilocos Sur, on the northwest by the municipalities of Badoc, Pinili, Banna, Marcos, Dingras and Solsona of the Province of Ilocos Norte, on the northeast by the province of Apayao, and on the southeast by the municipalities of Tineg, Danglas and Bangued of the province of Abra.
DISTANCES FROM URBAN CENTERS
Nueva Era is about 46 kilometers from the City of Laoag; 260 kilometers from the City of San Fernando (La Union), the Regional Capital; 305 kilometers from Baguio City; and 520 kilometers from Metro-Manila, the National Capital Region.
The atlas reported that Ilocos Norte whose total land area is placed at 339,934 hectares or 3,399.34 square kilometers is already 100 percent land surveyed. The atlas also reports that Nueva Era has a total land area of 644.70 square kilometres accounting to the biggest share of 18.9 percent of the total land area of the Province of Ilocos Norte of the total municipal area, about 59 thousand hectares or 92 percent is forestland, only about 8 percent is alienable and disposable.
Nueva Era’s 64,470 hectares is distributed among its eleven (11) barangays.
The municipality of Nueva Era is composed of eleven (11) barangays namely: Poblacion, Barikir, Acnam, Caray, Cabittauran, Sto. Niño, Naguilian, Garnaden, Bugayong, Uguis and Barangobong.
TOPOGRAPHY AND SLOPE
Nueva Era’s topography consists mostly of mountain terrain with moderately sloping and rolling hills. Relief rises eastward, southward and westward to its uninhabited rugged mountains. As an upland town, it has no coastal plain.
Of 0-8% slope are the strips of land on the southwestern and northeastern parts of barangay Barangobong, the parcels of land on the northern portions of barangay Uguis, Naguilian, Poblacion, Barikir, Caray, Acnam, Cabittauran, and Sto. Niño (near the boundaries with the municipalities of Marcos and Solsona, the eastern part of the barangay Bugayong and barangay Garnaden (except its western strip). On the other hand, near the areas of 8-18% in the northern parts of barangay Uguis, Naguilian, Poblacion, Barikir, Cabittauran and Sto. Niño, the northern part of barangay Bugayong (except the western tip with 18-50% slope), and the western strip of barangay Garnaden have 8-18% slope. Except the patches of lands scattered in all barangays (and barangay Garnaden with areas of 18-50% slope,) the rest of the municipal area of Nueva Era are of 50% and above slope. These are forest areas near the boundaries of the municipalities of Marcos, Dingras and Solsona (Ilocos Norte) and of the province of Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga and Apayao.
Nueva Era is chiefly underlain by diorite particularly barangays Bugayong, Garnaden, Poblacion, Barikir, Acnam, Caray, Cabittauran, the southern central portion of barangay Sto. Niño, the northern part of barangay Uguis and the southern part of barangay Naguilian.
On the other hand, QV-volcanoes (intermediate basic) are mapped in barangay Barangobong and southern parts of barangay Uguis and Naguilian. Likewise, present in shall portion northeast of Sto. Niño, Bugayong is limestone.
Aside from limestone, the municipality of Nueva Era is also blessed with mineral deposits such as copper and iron and non-metallic minerals in the form of gravel and clay.
COPPER. The area is in the southern part of barangay Sto. Niño covering about 128.8430 hectares. It is underlain chiefly by pyroclastic rocks, intruded by small bodies of diorite. The pyroclastics and diorite masses are both transacted by diabase-andesite dikes and silts. Uncomfortably overlying the igneous rock sequence is a clastic formation. Sulphides occur as feature fillings and dissemination in the pyroclastics and diorite.
IRON. The mineral site, with an area of approximately 52.0800 hectares is located at barangay Cabittauran and is underlain by altered landsite intruded by diorite. Outcrops are essentially small and lenticular but indicate dissemination from oxides. Analysed sample ranges from 44% to 71%.
CLAY. The mineral area is located at barangay Caray. The deposit was derived from the residual weathering of undifferentiated volcanic rocks consisting mainly of basalt, andesite and pyroclastics. Chemical analysis show 39.62% Si02, 12.16% A1203 and 15.69% Fe203.
Sand and gravel deposits are abundantly present along the major rivers. The deposits consist of alluvial materials and rock fragments which overlay the province and ranges in size from the sand to coarse gravel.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
The municipality of Nueva Era has two pronounced seasons, namely, dry and wet. The climate is generally arid (classified as type E by PAG-ASA) or, there are more dry months than wet.
Dry season occur in the months of November up to May with light to heavy rains. Expected for the rest of the year. Monthly rainfall distribution averages to 143.78 millimeters.
During the dry season, coolness is due to the northeast monsoon and is often experienced during the months of November to February, while the rains are caused by the southwest monsoon.
The temperature ranges from 23.89°C (usually occurring in the months of December and January) to a hot 34°C (usually occurring in the months of January) to a hot 27.37°C (during the months of April and May).
The predominant wind direction is northward from the South China Sea. The surrounding mountains effectively protect Nueva Era from strong winds.
GEOLOGY, HAZARDS AND RISKS
The northwestern side of barangay Barangobong, the northern tip of barangay Naguilian, and from the central part of the northeastern side of barangay Sto. Niño of Nueva Era are traversed by a normal fault line which practically crosses the whole of Region I.
Furthermore, while the town is free of hazard from hydrologic adjustments due to its elevation (local tsunami, storm surges, ocean water, flooding, rainwater and river water flooding, and dam/levee water flooding), its northeastern part (barangay Sto. Niño) may experience accelerated soil erosion.
Soil erosion is caused by natural erosion and human activities such as non-metallic mining or unregulated tree cutting. Natural soil erosion results from over-naturalization or rock strata or some other types of rock failure. It is further aggravated with the occurrence of natural disaster/hazards such as typhoons and earthquakes. It usually occurs in steep slopes more than 30%.
Vegetative cover consists of virgin forest, secondary growth forest, mossy/marginal/mangrove forest, plantation forest and other classified forest; large-scale grasslands; cultivated open land within public forest; arable land, cropland and coconut plantation, waterways both freshwater and brackish water and built-up areas.