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Virgin Islands (territory of the US) Geography

    Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico

    Geographic coordinates: 18 20 N, 64 50 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total: 352 sq km
    land: 349 sq km
    water: 3 sq km

    Area—comparative: twice the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 188 km

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

    Climate: subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November

    Terrain: mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Crown Mountain 474 m

    Natural resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

    Land use:
    arable land: 15%
    permanent crops: 6%
    permanent pastures: 26%
    forests and woodland: 6%
    other: 47% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes

    Environment—current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources

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

    Geography—note: important location along the Anegada Passage—a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best natural, deepwater harbors in the Caribbean

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