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Lebanon Geography Profile

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Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Geographic coordinates
33 50 N, 35 50 E
Map references
Middle East
total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km
Area - comparative
about one-third the size of Maryland
Land boundaries
total: 484 km
border countries (2): Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km
225 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows
narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 1,250 m
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m
Natural resources
limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
Land use
agricultural land: 63.3% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 12.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 39.1% (2011 est.)
forest: 13.4% (2011 est.)
other: 23.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
1,040 sq km (2012)
Population distribution
the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density
Natural hazards
earthquakes; dust storms, sandstorms
Environment - current issues
deforestation; soil deterioration, erosion; desertification; species loss; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills; waste-water management
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
smallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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