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Northern Mariana Islands: Geography

Geography Northern Mariana Islands
Location:
Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
Geographic coordinates:
15 12 N, 145 45 E
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 477 sq km
note: includes 14 islands including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian
water: 0 sq km
land: 477 sq km
Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
1,482 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October
Terrain:
southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Agrihan 965 m
Natural resources:
arable land, fish
Land use:
arable land: 15.22%
permanent crops: 6.52%
other: 78.26% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)
Environment - current issues:
contamination of groundwater on Saipan may contribute to disease; clean-up of landfill; protection of endangered species conflicts with development
Geography - note:
strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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