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Egypt Geography

    Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip

    Geographic coordinates: 27 00 N, 30 00 E

    Map references: Africa

    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: 2,689 km
    border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 255 km, Libya 1,150 km, Sudan 1,273 km

    Coastline: 2,450 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 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%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 0%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 98% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 32,460 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides, volcanic activity; 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 natural resources

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, shortest sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)