Mauritania



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Mauritania Geography 2008


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 contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
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: 0.2% permanent crops: 0.01% other: 99.79% (2005)
Irrigated land: 490 sq km (2002)
Total renewable water resources: 11.4 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.7 cu km/yr (9%/3%/88%) per capita: 554 cu m/yr (2000)
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; limited natural fresh water resources away from the Senegal, which is the only perennial river; locust infestation
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling 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

NOTE: The geography information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania Geography 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania Geography 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.