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Mauritania Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        1,030,700 sq km

        land area:
        1,030,400 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico

    • Land boundaries:
      total 5,074 km, Algeria 463 km, Mali 2,237 km, Senegal 813 km, Western Sahara 1,561 km

    • Coastline:
      754 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      boundary with Senegal in dispute

    • Climate:
      desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty

    • Terrain:
      mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills

    • Natural resources:
      iron ore, gypsum, fish, copper, phosphate

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      120 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        overgrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources away from the Senegal which is the only perennial river

        natural hazards:
        hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind blows primarily in March and April; periodic droughts

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

    • Note:
      most of the population concentrated along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country

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