Armenia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Armenia?

Overview:

The country rests on a high mountainous plateau cut by fast flowing rivers. The over-grazed hills boast little true forest, but many of the steeper slopes are dressed with small shrubs and second growth. Good soil is plentiful in the Ara River Basin, and sheltered valleys across the country host pastures and prolific fruit orchards. The scenery along the highways is often dramatic, with high mountains shadowing green pastures ribboned with clear, cold streams.

Twenty-percent of Armenia’s land is given over to pasture and 17% to agriculture. Three thousand and fifty square kilometers is under irrigation. At 4,096 meters, Mount Aragats is the highest point in the country. The interesting geology consists mostly of young igneous and volcanic rocks including obsidian. Armenia is honeycombed with geologic faults and remains seismically active.

Geography - note:

landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

Climate:

The climate is highland continental. It is dry, with an average of 550mm (21.6 inches) in annual rainfall. In the Ararat Valley, where Yerevan is located, there is far less rain; with an average range of from 200mm to 250mm (7.9 to 10 inches).


Seasonal extremes are pronounced in the Ararat Valley. Temperatures can approach the record summer high of 42°C (107.6°F) or plunge towards the record winter low of -30°C (-22°F). Mean temperatures are more temperate, however. July readings give an average high range of from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). The January low range averages from -5°C (23°F) to -7°C (19°F). Autumns are long and golden; Armenia enjoys around 2700 hours of sunshine each year. Drought is a perennial problem.

Armenia Use of Natural Resources

Armenia Environment

Climate:

The climate is highland continental. It is dry, with an average of 550mm (21.6 inches) in annual rainfall. In the Ararat Valley, where Yerevan is located, there is far less rain; with an average range of from 200mm to 250mm (7.9 to 10 inches).


Seasonal extremes are pronounced in the Ararat Valley. Temperatures can approach the record summer high of 42°C (107.6°F) or plunge towards the record winter low of -30°C (-22°F). Mean temperatures are more temperate, however. July readings give an average high range of from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). The January low range averages from -5°C (23°F) to -7°C (19°F). Autumns are long and golden; Armenia enjoys around 2700 hours of sunshine each year. Drought is a perennial problem.

Terrain:

Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley

Natural Resources:

small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina

Natural Hazards:

occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Irrigated Land:

1,056 Square Miles
2,735 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

Armenia Geography

Geographic Location Asia
Total Area 11,484 Square Miles
29,743 Square Kilometers
Land Area 10,889 Square Miles
28,203 Square Kilometers
Water Area 595 Square Miles
1,540 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 779 Miles
1,254 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1,056 Square Miles
2,735 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km
Geographic Coordinates 40 00 N, 45 00 E
Terrain Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Highest Point 4,090 Meters
Highest Point Location Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
Lowest Point 400 Meters
Lowest Point Location Debed River 400 m
Natural Resources small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina
Time Zone UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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