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Spain Geography

    Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France

    Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 4 00 W

    Map references: Europe

    Area:
    total: 504,750 sq km
    land: 499,400 sq km
    water: 5,350 sq km
    note: includes Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco—Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera

    Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Oregon

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,919.1 km
    border countries: Andorra 65 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km

    Coastline: 4,964 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast

    Terrain: large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m

    Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower

    Land use:
    arable land: 30%
    permanent crops: 9%
    permanent pastures: 21%
    forests and woodland: 32%
    other: 8% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 34,530 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts

    Environment—current issues: pollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; water quality and quantity nationwide; air pollution; deforestation; desertification

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification

    Geography—note: strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

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