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Iceland Geography

    Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK

    Geographic coordinates: 65 00 N, 18 00 W

    Map references: Arctic Region

    Area:
    total: 103,000 sq km
    land: 100,250 sq km
    water: 2,750 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Kentucky

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 4,988 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers

    Terrain: mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Hvannadalshnukur 2,119 m

    Natural resources: fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite

    Land use:
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 23%
    forests and woodland: 1%
    other: 76% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: earthquakes and volcanic activity

    Environment—current issues: water pollution from fertilizer runoff; inadequate wastewater treatment

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

    Geography—note: strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe

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