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Northern Mariana Islands (commonwealth in political union with the US) Geography 1999

    Location: Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines

    Geographic coordinates: 15 12 N, 145 45 E

    Map references: Oceania

    total: 477 sq km
    land: 477 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes 14 islands including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian

    Area—comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 1,482 km

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

    Climate: tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October

    Terrain: southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location on Agrihan 965 m

    Natural resources: arable land, fish

    Land use:
    arable land: 21%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 19%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 60%

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)

    Environment—current issues: contamination of groundwater on Saipan may contribute to disease; clean-up of landfill; protection of endangered species conflicts with development

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

    Geography—note: strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean

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