Encyclopedia > Geography of Yemen

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Geography of Yemen

Location: Middle East, in the south of Arabia, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, west of Oman and south of Saudi Arabia.

Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 48 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 527,970 sq km
land: 527,970 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Perim[?], Socotra[?], the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)

Area - comparative: slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Land boundaries:
total: 1,746 km
border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km

Coastline: 1,906 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 18 nm in the North; 24 nm in the South
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east

Terrain: narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb[?] 3,760 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 30%
forests and woodland: 4%
other: 63% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 3,600 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: sandstorms and dust storms in summer

Environment - current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes

See also : Yemen



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