Ice Geography - 2023


SOURCE: 2023 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

Location

Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the United Kingdom

Geographic coordinates

65 00 N, 18 00 W

Map references

Arctic Region

Area

total: 103,000 sq km

land: 100,250 sq km

water: 2,750 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; about the same size as Kentucky

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

4,970 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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

Climate

temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers

Terrain

mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords

Elevation

highest point: Hvannadalshnukur (at Vatnajokull Glacier) 2,110 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 557 m

Natural resources

fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite

Land use

agricultural land: 18.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 17.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.3% (2018 est.)

other: 81% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0.5 sq km (2020)

Population distribution

Iceland is almost entirely urban with half of the population located in and around the capital of Reykjavik; smaller clusters are primarily found along the coast in the north and west

Natural hazards

earthquakes and volcanic activity

volcanism: Iceland, situated on top of a hotspot, experiences severe volcanic activity; Eyjafjallajokull (1,666 m) erupted in 2010, sending ash high into the atmosphere and seriously disrupting European air traffic; scientists continue to monitor nearby Katla (1,512 m), which has a high probability of eruption in the very near future, potentially disrupting air traffic; Grimsvoetn and Hekla are Iceland's most active volcanoes; other historically active volcanoes include Askja, Bardarbunga, Brennisteinsfjoll, Esjufjoll, Hengill, Krafla, Krisuvik, Kverkfjoll, Oraefajokull, Reykjanes, Torfajokull, and Vestmannaeyjar

Geography - note

strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe

NOTE: The information regarding Ice on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ice 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ice 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.