Australia Geography: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Australia Geography

Australia Geography: A summary of information about Australia Geography, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Australia: Geography

Location
Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South
Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates
27 00 S, 133 00 E
Map references
Oceania
Area
total: 7,686,850 sq km
land: 7,617,930 sq km
water: 68,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
25,760 km
Maritime claims
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate
generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east;
tropical in north
Terrain
mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Elevation extremes
lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m
Natural resources
bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, silver,
uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds,
natural gas, petroleum
Land use
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 54%
forests and woodland: 19%
other: 21% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land
21,070 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards
cyclones along the coast; severe droughts
Environment - current issues
soil erosion from overgrazing,
industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil
salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification;
clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of
many unique animal and plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the
northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by
increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; limited
natural fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine
Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification
Geography - note
world's smallest continent but sixth-largest
country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern
coasts; regular, tropical, invigorating, sea breeze known as "the
Doctor" occurs along the west coast in the summer
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