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Western Sahara Geography

    Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco

    Geographic coordinates: 24 30 N, 13 00 W

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 266,000 sq km
    land: 266,000 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: about the size of Colorado

    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,046 km
    border countries: Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km

    Coastline: 1,110 km

    Maritime claims: contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue

    Climate: hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew

    Terrain: mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Sebjet Tah -55 m
    highest point: unnamed location 463 m

    Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore

    Land use:
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 19%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 81%

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility

    Environment—current issues: sparse water and arable land

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: none of the selected agreements
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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