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Mauritania Geography
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:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrain:
mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m
highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m
Natural resources:
iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Land use:
arable land: 0.48%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.51% (2001)
Irrigated land:
490 sq km (1998 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, 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
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