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American Samoa (territory of the US) Geography 1999

    Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

    Geographic coordinates: 14 20 S, 170 00 W

    Map references: Oceania

    total: 199 sq km
    land: 199 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 116 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages 124 inches; rainy season from November to April, dry season from May to October; little seasonal temperature variation

    Terrain: five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Lata 966 m

    Natural resources: pumice, pumicite

    Land use:
    arable land: 5%
    permanent crops: 10%
    permanent pastures: 0%
    forests and woodland: 70%
    other: 15% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: typhoons common from December to March

    Environment—current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: NA
    signed, but not ratified: NA

    Geography—note: Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the South Pacific Ocean

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)