EGYPT Geography

Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula

Geographic coordinates:

27 00 N, 30 00 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 1,001,450 sq km
land: 995,450 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico

Land boundaries:

total: 2,665 km
border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,273 km

Coastline:

2,450 km

Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):

territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate:

desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters

Terrain:

vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc

Land use:

arable land: 2.85%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 96.68% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:

33,000 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues:

agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; very limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note:

controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees

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