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Saudi Arabia Geography Profile 2017

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LocationMiddle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Geographic coordinates25 00 N, 45 00 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Areatotal: 2,149,690 sq km
land: 2,149,690 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
Land boundariestotal: 4,272 km
border countries (7): Iraq 811 km, Jordan 731 km, Kuwait 221 km, Oman 658 km, Qatar 87 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,307 km
Coastline2,640 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climateharsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Terrainmostly sandy desert
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 665 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Land useagricultural land: 80.7%
arable land 1.5%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 79.1%
forest: 0.5%
other: 18.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land16,200 sq km (2012)
Population distributionhistorically a population that was mostly nomadic or semi-nomadic, the Saudi population has become more settled since petroleum was discovered in the 1930s; most of the economic activities - and with it the country's population - is concentrated in a wide area across the middle of the peninsula, from Ad Dammam in the east, through Riyadh in the interior, to Mecca-Medina in the west near the Red Sea
Natural hazardsfrequent sand and dust storms
volcanism: despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar
Environment - current issuesdesertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteSaudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river; extensive coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through the Persian Gulf and Suez Canal

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

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