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    France Geography 1998

      Location Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain

      Geographic coordinates 46 00 N, 2 00 E

      Map references Europe

      total: 547,030 sq km
      land: 545,630 sq km
      water: 1,400 sq km
      note: includes only metropolitan France, but excludes the overseas administrative divisions

      Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of Colorado

      Land boundaries
      total: 2,892.4 km
      border countries: Andorra 60 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km

      Coastline 3,427 km

      Maritime claims
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean)
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      Climate generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean

      Terrain mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
      highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m

      Natural resources coal, iron ore, bauxite, fish, timber, zinc, potash

      Land use
      arable land: 33%
      permanent crops: 2%
      permanent pastures: 20%
      forests and woodland: 27%
      other: 18% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land 16,300 sq km (1995 est.)

      Natural hazards flooding

      Environment - current issues some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff

      Environment - international agreements
      party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note largest West European nation; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral

      NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of France Geography 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France Geography 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)