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Maldives Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        300 sq km

        land area:
        300 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly more than 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

    • Land boundaries:
      0 km

    • Coastline:
      644 km

    • Maritime claims:

        exclusive economic zone:
        35-310 nm as defined by geographic coordinates; segment of zone coincides with maritime boundary with India

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:

    • Climate:
      tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

    • Terrain:
      flat with elevations only as high as 2.5 meters

    • Natural resources:

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      NA sq km

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies

        natural hazards:
        low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

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

    • Note:
      1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls; archipelago of strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

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