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Guatemala Geography Profile 2017

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LocationCentral America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Geographic coordinates15 30 N, 90 15 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 108,889 sq km
land: 107,159 sq km
water: 1,730 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 1,667 km
border countries (4): Belize 266 km, El Salvador 199 km, Honduras 244 km, Mexico 958 km
Coastline400 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Terrainmostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 759 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m (highest point in Central America)
Natural resourcespetroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 41.2%
arable land 14.2%; permanent crops 8.8%; permanent pasture 18.2%
forest: 33.6%
other: 25.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land3,375 sq km (2012)
Population distributionthe vast majority of the populace resides in the southern half of the country, particularly in the mountainous regions; more than half of the population lives in rural areas
Natural hazardsnumerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
volcanism: significant volcanic activity in the Sierra Madre range; Santa Maria (elev. 3,772 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pacaya (elev. 2,552 m), which erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City and prompting evacuations, is one of the country's most active volcanoes with frequent eruptions since 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Acatenango, Almolonga, Atitlan, Fuego, and Tacana
Environment - current issuesdeforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteno natural harbors on west coast

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

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