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Chile Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

    • Map references:
      South America

    • Area:

        total area:
        756,950 sq km

        land area:
        748,800 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

        includes Isla de Pascua (Easter Island) and Isla Sala y Gomez

    • Land boundaries:
      total 6,171 km, Argentina 5,150 km, Bolivia 861 km, Peru 160 km

    • Coastline:
      6,435 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200 nm

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      short section of the southern boundary with Argentina is indefinite; Bolivia has wanted a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama area was lost to Chile in 1884; dispute with Bolivia over Rio Lauca water rights; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims

    • Climate:
      temperate; desert in north; cool and damp in south

    • Terrain:
      low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east

    • Natural resources:
      copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      12,650 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation contributing to loss of biodiversity; soil erosion; desertification

        natural hazards:
        severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis

        international agreements:
        party to - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert one of world's driest regions

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