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Chile Geography

    Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

    Geographic coordinates: 30 00 S, 71 00 W

    Map references: South America

    Area:
    total: 756,950 sq km
    land: 748,800 sq km
    water: 8,150 sq km
    note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

    Land boundaries:
    total: 6,171 km
    border countries: Argentina 5,150 km, Bolivia 861 km, Peru 160 km

    Coastline: 6,435 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate; desert in north; cool and damp in south

    Terrain: low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,962 m

    Natural resources: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum

    Land use:
    arable land: 5%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 18%
    forests and woodland: 22%
    other: 55% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 12,650 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis

    Environment—current issues: air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation contributing to loss of biodiversity; soil erosion; desertification

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

    Geography—note: strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of world's driest regions

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