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Mexico Geography 1999

    Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US

    Geographic coordinates: 23 00 N, 102 00 W

    Map references: North America

    total: 1,972,550 sq km
    land: 1,923,040 sq km
    water: 49,510 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Texas

    Land boundaries:
    total: 4,538 km
    border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,326 km

    Coastline: 9,330 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: varies from tropical to desert

    Terrain: high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
    highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber

    Land use:
    arable land: 12%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 39%
    forests and woodland: 26%
    other: 22% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 61,000 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts

    Environment—current issues: natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; serious air pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border

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

    Geography—note: strategic location on southern border of US

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