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Mauritania Geography

Mauritania    Geography Top of Page
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 N, 12 00 W
Map references: Africa
Area: total:  1,030,700 sq km

land:  1,030,400 sq km

water:  300 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries: total:  5,074 km

border countries:  Algeria 463 km, Mali 2,237 km, Senegal 813 km, Western Sahara 1,561 km
Coastline: 754 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone:  24 NM

continental shelf:  200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin

exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrain: mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Sebkha de Ndrhamcha -3 m

highest point:  Kediet Ijill 910 m
Natural resources: iron ore, gypsum, fish, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold
Land use: arable land:  0%

permanent crops:  0%

permanent pastures:  38%

forests and woodland:  4%

other:  58% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 490 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind blows primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: overgrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources away from the Senegal which is the only perennial river
Environment - international agreements: party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:  none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: most of the population concentrated in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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