Encyclopedia > Geography of El Salvador

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Geography of El Salvador

Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras

Geographic coordinates: 13 50 N, 88 55 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 21,040 km²
land: 20,720 km²
water: 320 km²

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries:
total: 545 km
border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km

Coastline: 307 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate: tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands

Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 8%
permanent pastures: 29%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 31% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,200 km² (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity, also destructive hurricanes are very common.

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes; Hurricane Mitch damage

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

See also : El Salvador



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