Iraq Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Iraq?

Overview:

Iraq is bordered by Kuwait, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The country slopes from mountains over 3,000 meters (10,000 ft.) above sea level along the border with Iran and Turkey to the remnants of sea-level, reedy marshes in the southeast. Much of the land is desert or wasteland. The mountains in the northeast are an extension of the alpine system that runs eastward from the Balkans into southern Turkey, northern Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, terminating in the Himalayas.

Geography - note:

strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

Climate:

mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding.


Average temperatures range from higher than 48oC (120oF) in July and August to below freezing in January. Most of the rainfall occurs from December through April and averages between 10 and 18 centimeters (4-7 in.) annually. The mountainous region of northern Iraq receives appreciably more precipitation than the central or southern desert region.

Iraq Use of Natural Resources

Iraq Environment

Climate:

mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding.


Average temperatures range from higher than 48oC (120oF) in July and August to below freezing in January. Most of the rainfall occurs from December through April and averages between 10 and 18 centimeters (4-7 in.) annually. The mountainous region of northern Iraq receives appreciably more precipitation than the central or southern desert region.

Terrain:

mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Natural Resources:

petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Natural Hazards:

dust storms, sandstorms, floods

Irrigated Land:

13,610 Square Miles
35,250 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Iraq Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 169,234 Square Miles
438,317 Square Kilometers
Land Area 168,867 Square Miles
437,367 Square Kilometers
Water Area 367 Square Miles
950 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 2,268 Miles
3,650 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 13,610 Square Miles
35,250 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km
Coastline 36 Miles
58 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 33 00 N, 44 00 E
Terrain mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Highest Point 3,611 Meters
Highest Point Location unamed peak 3,611 m; note - this peak is not Gundah Zhur 3,607 m or Kuh-e Hajji-Ebrahim 3,595 m
Lowest Point Location Persian Gulf 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
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