Chile Geography 2011

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Page last updated on January 12, 2011

Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

Geographic coordinates:
30 00 S, 71 00 W

Map references:
South America

total: 756,102 sq km
country comparison to the world: 38
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
land: 743,812 sq km
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 12,290 sq km
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

Land boundaries:
total: 6,339 km
[see also: Land boundaries - total country ranks ]
border countries: Argentina 5,308 km, Bolivia 860 km, Peru 171 km

6,435 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200/350 nm

temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
More Climate Details

low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - lowest point country ranks ]
highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - highest point country ranks ]

Natural resources:
copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 2.62%
[see also: Land use - arable land country ranks ]
permanent crops: 0.43%
[see also: Land use - permanent crops country ranks ]
other: 96.95% (2005)
[see also: Land use - other country ranks ]

Irrigated land:
19,000 sq km (2003)
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Total renewable water resources:
922 cu km (2000)
[see also: Total renewable water resources country ranks ]

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 12.55 cu km/yr (11%/25%/64%)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - total country ranks ]
per capita: 770 cu m/yr (2000)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - per capita country ranks ]

Natural hazards:
severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis
volcanism: Chile experiences significant volcanic activity due to the more than three-dozen active volcanoes situated within the Andes Mountains; Lascar (elev. 5,592 m, 18,346 ft), which last erupted in 2007, is the most active volcano in the northern Chilean Andes; Llaima (elev. 3,125 m, 10,253 ft) in central Chile, which last erupted in 2009, is another of the country's most active; Chaiten's 2008 eruption forced major evacuations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Cerro Hudson, Copahue, Guallatiri, Llullaillaco, Nevados de Chillan, San Pedro, and Villarrica

Environment - current issues:
widespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of world's driest regions

NOTE: The information regarding Chile on this page is re-published from the 2011 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Chile Geography 2011 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Chile Geography 2011 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 09-Feb-11
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