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El Salvador Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras

    • Map references:
      Central America and the Caribbean

    • Area:

        total area:
        21,040 sq km

        land area:
        20,720 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than Massachusetts

    • Land boundaries:
      total 545 km, Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km

    • Coastline:
      307 km

    • Maritime claims:

        territorial sea:
        200 nm

    • International disputes:
      land boundary dispute with Honduras mostly resolved by 11 September 1992 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision; with respect to the maritime boundary in the Golfo de Fonseca, ICJ referred to an earlier agreement in this century and advised that some tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua likely would be required

    • Climate:
      tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April)

    • Terrain:
      mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

    • Natural resources:
      hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      1,200 sq km (1989)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes

        natural hazards:
        known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

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