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Ecuador Geography Profile 2017

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LocationWestern South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates2 00 S, 77 30 W
Map referencesSouth America
Areatotal: 283,561 sq km
land: 276,841 sq km
water: 6,720 sq km
note: includes Galapagos Islands
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Nevada
Land boundariestotal: 2,237 km
border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1,529 km
Coastline2,237 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath
Climatetropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Terraincoastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,117 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
note: because the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet farthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea level
Natural resourcespetroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 29.7%
arable land 4.7%; permanent crops 5.6%; permanent pasture 19.4%
forest: 38.9%
other: 31.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land15,000 sq km (2012)
Population distributionnearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated
Natural hazardsfrequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteCotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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