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Uruguay Geography
Location:
Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Geographic coordinates:
33 00 S, 56 00 W
Map references:
south america
Area:
total: 176,220 sq km
land: 173,620 sq km
water: 2,600 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than the state of Washington
Land boundaries:
total: 1,564 km
border countries: Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km
Coastline:
660 km
Maritime claims:
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:
warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Terrain:
mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m
Natural resources:
arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Land use:
arable land: 7.43%
permanent crops: 0.23%
other: 92.34% (2001)
Irrigated land:
1,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts
Environment - current issues:
water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising
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