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Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

Geographic coordinates:

39 30 N, 8 00 W


Total: 92,090 sq km
Land: 91,470 sq km
Water: 620 sq km
Note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands

Land boundaries:

Total: 1,214 km
Border countries: Spain 1,214 km


1,793 km

Maritime claims:

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


Maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south


Mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

Elevation extremes:

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m

Natural resources:

Fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower

Land use:

Arable land: 11.88%
Permanent crops: 7.71%
Other: 80.41% (2011)

Irrigated land:

5,837 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources:

68.7 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

Total: 8.46 cu km/yr (12%/18%/69%)
Per capita: 812 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:

Azores islands subject to severe earthquakes
Volcanism: limited volcanic activity in the Azores Islands; Fayal or Faial (elev. 1,043 m) last erupted in 1958; most volcanoes have not erupted in centuries; historically active volcanoes include Agua de Pau, Furnas, Pico, Picos Volcanic System, San Jorge, Sete Cidades, and Terceira

Environment – current issues:

Soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas

Environment – international agreements:

Party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Environmental Modification

Geography – note:

Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

Information source:

CIA World Fact Book

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