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Sri Lanka Geography Profile 2018

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LocationSouthern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Geographic coordinates7 00 N, 81 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Areatotal: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,630 sq km
water: 980 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline1,340 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
Climatetropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Terrainmostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 228 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Natural resourceslimestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 43.5%
arable land 20.7%; permanent crops 15.8%; permanent pasture 7%
forest: 29.4%
other: 27.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land5,700 sq km (2012)
Population distributionthe population is primarily concentrated within a broad wet zone in the southwest, urban centers along the eastern coast, and on the Jaffna Peninsula in the north
Natural hazardsoccasional cyclones and tornadoes
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notestrategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes; Adam's Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between the southeastern coast of India and the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka; geological evidence suggests that this 50-km long bridge once connected India and Sri Lanka; ancient records seem to indicate that a foot passage was possible between the two land masses until the 15th century when the land bridge broke up in a cyclone

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

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