Bahrain Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Bahrain?

Overview:

The State of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 small, low-lying islands in the Persian Gulf, halfway down the east coast of Saudi Arabia and about 15 miles from the Saudi mainland. Total land area is about 300 square miles.

Five of the six principal islands are linked by a causeway system. Bahrain Island, where the capital city of Manama is located, is the largest. It is about 30 miles long and 10–12 miles wide. A four-lane causeway links Manama with the island and town of Muharraq, site of the newly expanded international airport. Bridges also connect Sitra, Nabih Saleh, and Um al-Nassan Islands to Bahrain Island, which is linked to the mainland of Saudi Arabia by a causeway to Dhahran and Al-Khobar.

Geography - note:

close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

Climate:

Bahrain, with a desert climate, is one of the world's hottest areas. Its hottest and most humid weather is from June through September with temperatures over 110°F most days. The weather is pleasant from November through May (55°-85°F) with infrequent rainfall. The combination of poor soil drainage and few storm sewers can result in muddy city streets and puddles.


A narrow strip of land along the northern and northwestern coasts of Bahrain Island is cultivated with date palms, alfalfa, and vegetables. These garden areas are rapidly disappearing due to depleted water resources and development. A desert, punctuated by a north-south plateau, extends south of the cultivated area. Surrounding this plateau is a rolling basin surrounded by overhanging bluffs sloping into the sea. The ground is hard and infertile with a gravel surface until the spring when a pale, soft green covering appears on the desert following the winter rains. It provides a welcome contrast to the summer's aridity.


The highest point in Bahrain is the Jebel Dukhan, 134 meters above sea level. The majority of Bahrain's oil wells are in this area. The Arabian Gulf has an average depth of only 35 meters but is much shallower in the vicinity of Bahrain.

Bahrain Use of Natural Resources

Bahrain Environment

Climate:

Bahrain, with a desert climate, is one of the world's hottest areas. Its hottest and most humid weather is from June through September with temperatures over 110°F most days. The weather is pleasant from November through May (55°-85°F) with infrequent rainfall. The combination of poor soil drainage and few storm sewers can result in muddy city streets and puddles.


A narrow strip of land along the northern and northwestern coasts of Bahrain Island is cultivated with date palms, alfalfa, and vegetables. These garden areas are rapidly disappearing due to depleted water resources and development. A desert, punctuated by a north-south plateau, extends south of the cultivated area. Surrounding this plateau is a rolling basin surrounded by overhanging bluffs sloping into the sea. The ground is hard and infertile with a gravel surface until the spring when a pale, soft green covering appears on the desert following the winter rains. It provides a welcome contrast to the summer's aridity.


The highest point in Bahrain is the Jebel Dukhan, 134 meters above sea level. The majority of Bahrain's oil wells are in this area. The Arabian Gulf has an average depth of only 35 meters but is much shallower in the vicinity of Bahrain.

Terrain:

mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Natural Resources:

oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls

Natural Hazards:

periodic droughts; dust storms

Irrigated Land:

16 Square Miles
40 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources, groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Bahrain Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 293 Square Miles
760 Square Kilometers
Land Area 293 Square Miles
760 Square Kilometers
Irrigated Land 16 Square Miles
40 Square Kilometers
Coastline 100 Miles
161 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 26 00 N, 50 33 E
Terrain mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Highest Point 122 Meters
Highest Point Location Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m
Lowest Point Location Persian Gulf 0 m
Natural Resources oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls
Time Zone UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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