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Iceland Geography Profile 2003

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Location

Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK

Geographic coordinates

65 00 N, 18 00 W

Map references

Arctic Region

Area

total: 103,000 sq km
land: 100,250 sq km
water: 2,750 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Kentucky

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

4,988 km

Maritime claims

continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate

temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers

Terrain

mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Hvannadalshnukur 2,119 m (at Vatnajokull glacier)

Natural resources

fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite

Land use

arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 28%
forest and woodlands: 1%
other: 70% (2001 est.)

Irrigated land

NA sq km

Natural hazards

earthquakes and volcanic activity

Environment - current issues

water pollution from fertilizer runoff; inadequate wastewater treatment

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Environmental Protection through Criminal Law, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Oil Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Persistent Organic Pollutants, Ship Pollution, Transboundary Air Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe


Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of May 15, 2007


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