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Azerbaijan Geography 1999

    Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia

    Geographic coordinates: 40 30 N, 47 30 E

    Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

    total: 86,600 sq km
    land: 86,100 sq km
    water: 500 sq km
    note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maine

    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,013 km
    border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km

    Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
    note: Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (800 km, est.)

    Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

    Climate: dry, semiarid steppe

    Terrain: large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
    highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina

    Land use:
    arable land: 18%
    permanent crops: 5%
    permanent pastures: 25%
    forests and woodland: 11%
    other: 41% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 10,000 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: droughts; some lowland areas threatened by rising levels of the Caspian Sea

    Environment—current issues: local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, water, and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of DDT as a pesticide and also from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity

    Geography—note: landlocked

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