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Uruguay Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil

    • Map references:
      South America

    • Area:

        total area:
        176,220 sq km

        land area:
        173,620 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than Washington State

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,564 km, Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km

    • Coastline:
      660 km

    • Maritime claims:

        continental shelf:
        200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

        territorial sea:
        200 nm; overflight and navigation guaranteed beyond 12 nm

    • International disputes:
      short section of boundary with Argentina is in dispute; two short sections of the boundary with Brazil are in dispute - Arroyo de la Invernada (Arroio Invernada) area of the Rio Cuareim (Rio Quarai) and the islands at the confluence of the Rio Cuareim (Rio Quarai) and the Uruguay River

    • Climate:
      warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

    • Terrain:
      mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

    • Natural resources:
      soil, hydropower potential, minor minerals

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      1,100 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        substantial pollution from Brazilian industry along border; one-fifth of country affected by acid rain generated by Brazil; water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

        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 in weather fronts

        international agreements:
        party to - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

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