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Uruguay Geography

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

    Geographic coordinates: 33 00 S, 56 00 W

    Map references: South America

    Area:
    total: 176,220 sq km
    land: 173,620 sq km
    water: 2,600 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than the state of Washington

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,564 km
    border countries: Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km

    Coastline: 660 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    territorial sea: 200 nm; overflight and navigation guaranteed beyond 12 nm

    Climate: warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

    Terrain: mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m

    Natural resources: fertile soil, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries

    Land use:
    arable land: 7%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 77%
    forests and woodland: 6%
    other: 10% (1997 est.)

    Irrigated land: 7,700 sq km (1997 est.)

    Natural hazards: seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in weather fronts

    Environment—current issues: working with Brazil to monitor and minimize transboundary pollution caused by Brazilian power plant near border; water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

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

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