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Northern Mariana Islands Geography 1996

    • Affiliation:
      (commonwealth in political union with the US)

    • Location:
      Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        477 sq km

        land area:
        477 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

        includes 14 islands including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian

    • Land boundaries:
      0 km

    • Coastline:
      1,482 km

    • Maritime claims:

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:

    • Climate:
      tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October

    • Terrain:
      southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic; highest elevation is 471 m (Mt. Okso' Takpochao on Saipan)

    • Natural resources:
      arable land, fish

    • Land use:

        arable land:
        5% on Saipan

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      NA sq km

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        contamination of groundwater on Saipan by raw sewage contributes to disease

        natural hazards:
        active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)

        international agreements:

    • Note:
      strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean

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