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Mauritania Geography Profile 2017

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LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates20 00 N, 12 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 1,030,700 sq km
land: 1,030,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundariestotal: 5,002 km
border countries (4): Algeria 460 km, Mali 2,236 km, Senegal 742 km, Western Sahara 1,564 km
Coastline754 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatedesert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrainmostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 276 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m
highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m
Natural resourcesiron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Land useagricultural land: 38.5%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 38.1%
forest: 0.2%
other: 61.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land450 sq km (2012)
Population distributionwith most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal
Natural hazardshot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
Environment - current issuesovergrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification; limited natural freshwater resources away from the Senegal, which is the only perennial river; locust infestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteMauritania is considered both a part of North Africa's Maghreb region and West Africa's Sahel region; most of the population is concentrated in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country

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

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