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Argentina is a country in southern South America, situated between the Andes in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east. It is bordered by Paraguay and Bolivia in the north, Brazil and Uruguay in the northeast and Chile in the west.

Argentina is the second largest country of South America after Brazil and the 8th largest country in the world. Its total area is approximately 2.7 million km². Argentina claims a section of Antarctica (Argentine Antarctica) but has agreed to suspend sovereignty disputes in the region as a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty. Argentina also asserts claims to several South Atlantic islands administered by the United Kingdom.

Area

  • Total: 2,766,890 km²
  • Land: 2,736,690 km²
  • Water: 30,200 km²

Claims

  • Land claims
    • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    • Argentine Antarctica
  • Maritime claims
    • Contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles (44 km)
    • Continental shelf: 200 nautical miles (370 km) or to the edge of the continental margin
    • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles (370 km)
    • Territorial sea: 12 nautical miles (29 km)

Boundaries

Total land boundaries: 9,665 km

With border countries:
  • Bolivia 832 km
  • Brazil 1,224 km
  • Chile 5,150 km
  • Paraguay 1,880 km
  • Uruguay 579 km

Extreme points:

  • Northernmost: 21º46' S, 66º13' W, at the junction of rivers Grande de San Juan and Molinete (Jujuy)
  • Westernmost: 50º01' S, 73º34' W, at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Santa Cruz)
  • Easternmost: 26º15' S, 53º38' W, at Bernardo de Irigoyen (Misiones)
  • Southernmost: 55º03' S, 66º31' W, at Cape San Pío (Tierra del Fuego)
Geographic South Pole, if taking the Antarctic claim into account

Coastline: 4,989 km

Geographical zones

The country's provinces are usually divided in 6 zones regarding climate and terrain. From North to South, West to East:

  • Argentine Northwest: Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja
  • Gran Chaco: Formos, Chaco, Santiago del Estero
  • Mesopotamia: Misiones, Entre Ríos, Corrientes
  • Cuyo: San Juan, Mendoza, San Luis
  • The : Córdoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa, Buenos Aires
  • Patagonia: Rio Negro, Neuquén, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego

Climate

  • Mostly temperate
  • Arid in southeast
  • Sub-antarctic in southwest

Terrain

  • Rich plains of the Pampas in centre part
  • Flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south
  • Rugged Andes along western border
  • Elevation extremes
    • Lowest point: Gran Bajo de San Julián, around 100 m below sea level. (Santa Cruz)
    • Highest point: Mt. Aconcagua, 6,960 m (Mendoza)
This summit is also the highest in the American continent.

Natural resources

  • Fertile plains of the Pampas
  • Lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium

Land use

  • Arable land: 9%
  • Permanent crops: 1%
  • Permanent pastures: 52%
  • Forests and woodland: 19%
  • Other: 19% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 17,000 km² (1993 est.)

Environment

Current issues: Environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an industrialising economy such as soil degradation, desertification, air pollution, and water pollution. Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets.

Natural hazards:

  • San Miguel de Tucumán and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes
  • Pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the Pampas and northeast
  • Heavy flooding in the Mesopotamia

Geographical Politics

International agreements:

  • Party to: Antarctic Treaty, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
  • Signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Strategic importance:

  • Location relative to sea lanes between South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage)
 
 
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