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Turkmenistan Geography Profile

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Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Geographic coordinates
40 00 N, 60 00 E
Map references
total: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
Land boundaries
total: 4,158 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1793 km
0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
subtropical desert
flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 230 m
lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m) -81 m
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Land use
agricultural land: 72% (2011 est.)
arable land: 4.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 67.8% (2011 est.)
forest: 8.8% (2011 est.)
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
19,950 sq km (2012)
Population distribution
the most densely populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
Natural hazards
earthquakes; mudslides; droughts; dust storms; floods
Environment - current issues
contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau

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

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