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    Kazakhstan Geography 2000

      Location: Central Asia, northwest of China

      Geographic coordinates: 48 00 N, 68 00 E

      Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

      total: 2,717,300 sq km
      land: 2,669,800 sq km
      water: 47,500 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly less than four times the size of Texas

      Land boundaries:
      total: 12,012 km
      border countries: China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km

      Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
      note: Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)

      Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

      Climate: continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

      Terrain: extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
      highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m

      Natural resources: major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

      Land use:
      arable land: 12%
      permanent crops: 11%
      permanent pastures: 57%
      forests and woodland: 4%
      other: 16% (1996 est.)

      Irrigated land: 22,000 sq km (1996 est.)

      Natural hazards: earthquakes in the south, mud slides around Almaty

      Environment - current issues: radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with its former defense industries and test ranges are found throughout the country and pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers which flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
      signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

      Geography - note: landlocked

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)