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Turkmenistan: Geography

Geography Turkmenistan
Location:
Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 60 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 488,100 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 488,100 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
total: 3,736 km
border countries: Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km
Coastline:
0 km; note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
subtropical desert
Terrain:
flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m; note - Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya (the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, coal, sulfur, salt
Land use:
arable land: 3.47%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 96.39% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
17,500 sq km (2003 est.)
Natural hazards:
NA
Environment - current issues:
contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water-logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; the western and central low-lying, desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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