Dominican Republic Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Dominican Republic?

Overview:

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Island of Hispaniola, the second largest of the Greater Antilles group, after Cuba. The Dominican Republic is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the east by the Mona Passage, which separates Hispaniola from Puerto Rico, 71 miles away. In the west it shares a land border with the Republic of Haiti.

The Dominican Republic has a land area of 18,712 square miles. The country, with its 1,000-mile coastline, extends about 240 miles from east to west and has a maximum north-south width of about 170 miles.

Much of the terrain is rugged. Four nearly parallel mountain ranges transverse the country from northwest to southeast. The Cordillera Central is the largest range and divides the country into almost equal parts. Pico Duarte is the highest mountain in the West Indies at 10,128 feet. The largest and most fertile valley, the Cibao, is in the upper central part of the country and is approximately 150 miles long by 10–30 miles wide.

Dominican rivers vary in flow with the season and are only navigable for short distances at their mouths, if at all. Their main use is for irrigation and hydroelectric power. Major rivers in the Dominican Republic are the Ozama, Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, La Isabela, Higuamo, and Soco.

Geography - note:

shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti

Climate:

The climate varies little year round. Although the country is in the tropics, constant trade winds keep temperatures from frequently exceeding 90°F. Temperatures in its coastal cities average about 78°F, with seasonal variations of 5-8 degrees.


Rainfall varies regionally with about two-thirds of the annual 57 inches in the capital falling in the rainy season from May to November. Hurricanes are a significant weather threat, particularly from June through October, and have caused serious damage in the past.

Dominican Republic Use of Natural Resources

Dominican Republic Environment

Climate:

The climate varies little year round. Although the country is in the tropics, constant trade winds keep temperatures from frequently exceeding 90°F. Temperatures in its coastal cities average about 78°F, with seasonal variations of 5-8 degrees.


Rainfall varies regionally with about two-thirds of the annual 57 inches in the capital falling in the rainy season from May to November. Hurricanes are a significant weather threat, particularly from June through October, and have caused serious damage in the past.

Terrain:

rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Natural Resources:

nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Natural Hazards:

lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts

Irrigated Land:

1,183 Square Miles
3,065 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Dominican Republic Geography

Geographic Location The Caribbean
Total Area 18,791 Square Miles
48,670 Square Kilometers
Land Area 18,656 Square Miles
48,320 Square Kilometers
Water Area 135 Square Miles
350 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 224 Miles
360 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1,183 Square Miles
3,065 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Haiti 360 km
Coastline 800 Miles
1,288 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 19 00 N, 70 40 W
Terrain rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Highest Point 3,175 Meters
Highest Point Location Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Lowest Point -46 Meters
Lowest Point Location Lago Enriquillo -46 m
Natural Resources nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Time Zone UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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