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Sierra Leone Geography Profile 2018

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LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Geographic coordinates8 30 N, 11 30 W
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundariestotal: 1,093 km
border countries (2): Guinea 794 km, Liberia 299 km
Coastline402 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Terraincoastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 279 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m
Natural resourcesdiamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
Land useagricultural land: 56.2%
arable land 23.4%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 30.5%
forest: 37.5%
other: 6.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land300 sq km (2012)
Population distributionpopulation clusters are found in the lower elevations of the south and west; the northern third of the country is less populated
Natural hazardsdry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Environment - current issuesrapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleted natural resources; overfishing
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - noterainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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