Egypt Geography Facts

The Geography of Egypt can be split into two general sections. Egypt is located in the northern part of Africa; however, it includes the Sinai Peninsula, which is considered part of Southwest Asia. Therefore, Egypt is located in both North Africa and Southwest Asia.

Egypt has shorelines on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. It borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and the Gaza Strip and Palestine to the east. Egypt, covering 1,001,450 square kilometers of land, is about the same size as Texas and New Mexico combined, four times the size of the UK and double that of France. Its longest distance from north to south is 1,024 kilometers, and from east to west is 1,240 kilometers. Egypt's natural boundaries consist of 2,450 kilometers of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea.

Egypt is predominantly desert. An area of only 35,000 square kilometers - 3.5 % of the total land area - is cultivated and permanently settled. Most of the country lies within the wide band of desert that stretches from Africa's Atlantic Coast across the continent and into southwest Asia.

Egypt's geological history has produced four major physical regions:
* the Nile Valley and Delta
* the Western Desert (also known as the Libyan Desert)
* the Eastern Desert (also known as the Arabian Desert)
* the Sinai Peninsula

Location:

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula

Geographic coordinates:

27 00 N, 30 00 E

Area:

total: 1,001,450 sq km
land: 995,450 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico

Land boundaries:

total: 2,665 km
border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,273 km

Coastline:

2,450 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

Climate:

desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters

Terrain:

vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc

Land use:

arable land: 2.92%
permanent crops: 0.5%
other: 96.58% (2005)

Irrigated land:

34,220 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes; flash floods; landslides; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; dust storms; sandstorms

Environment - current issues:

agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources

Source: CIA World Fact Book Egypt

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