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Iceland Geography
Location:
Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK
Geographic coordinates:
65 00 N, 18 00 W
Map references:
arctic region
Area:
total: 103,000 sq km
water: 2,750 sq km
land: 100,250 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Kentucky
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
4,988 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers
Terrain:
mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Hvannadalshnukur 2,119 m (at Vatnajokull glacier)
Natural resources:
fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite
Land use:
arable land: 0.07%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.93% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
earthquakes and volcanic activity
Environment - current issues:
water pollution from fertilizer runoff; inadequate wastewater treatment
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Transboundary Air Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe
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