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Geography

Location: Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines

Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 144 47 E

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 541.3 sq km
land: 541.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: three times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 125.5 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical marine; generally warm and humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season from January to June, rainy season from July to December; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low-rising hills in center, mountains in south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Lamlam 406 m

Natural resources: fishing (largely undeveloped), tourism (especially from Japan)

Land use:
arable land: 11%
permanent crops: 11%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 18%
other: 45% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare, but potentially very destructive typhoons (especially in August)

Environment - current issues: extirpation of native bird population by the rapid proliferation of the brown tree snake, an exotic species

Geography - note: largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago; strategic location in western North Pacific Ocean



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