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Mexico Geography
Location:
Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US
Geographic coordinates:
23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map references:
north america
Area:
total: 1,972,550 sq km
land: 1,923,040 sq km
water: 49,510 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 4,353 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
Coastline:
9,330 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate:
varies from tropical to desert
Terrain:
high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use:
arable land: 12.99%
permanent crops: 1.31%
other: 85.7% (2001)
Irrigated land:
65,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts
Environment - current issues:
scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion
note: the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico
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