The Geography of Ecuador

The Geography of Ecuador

Ecuadorian Geography

Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 77 30 W

Map references: South America

Area: total: 283,560 sq km land: 276,840 sq km water: 6,720 sq km note: includes Galapagos Islands

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Nevada

Land boundaries: total: 2,010 km border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km

Coastline: 2,237 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath

Climate: tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

Terrain: coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m note: due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest point above sea-level

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use: arable land: 5.71% permanent crops: 4.81% other: 89.48% (2005)

Irrigated land: 8,650 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands

Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

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