Jordan Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Jordan?

Overview:

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East and the Arab World. Most of Jordan's borders do not follow well-defined or natural features of the terrain. Rather, they were established by various international agreements. In the 1967 War, the West Bank of the Jordan River, which Jordan had annexed in 1949, came under Israeli occupation. In 1988, King Hussein relinquished Jordan's claim to administrative control of the West Bank.

The country's terrain varies. On the eastern desert plateau, average elevation is 3,000 feet; in the west, mountains rise to 5,700 feet; and at the Dead Sea, terrain drops to the Earth's lowest land point of some 1,300 feet below sea level. Although historically an earthquake-prone region, no severe shocks have been recorded for several centuries.

Geography - note:

strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank

Climate:

Jordan's countryside offers a diversity of climate and scenery. Within easy driving distance of the capital city of Amman, one can visit Irbid's temperate highlands, Ajlun's majestic hills, the fertile Jordan Valley, the southern sandstone mountains, and the arid desert of the eastern plateau.


Inadequate rainfall is a chronic problem. Rainfall usually occurs only from November to April; the rest of the year has bright sunshine daily and low humidity. In the spring, a desert wind brings higher temperatures; daytime summer temperatures can be hot, but nights are usually pleasant, cool, and dry. Autumn is long and pleasant; winter can sometimes bring light snow to the mountains and to Amman; and spring carpets the country's grazing lands with beautiful wildflowers.

Jordan Use of Natural Resources

Jordan Environment

Climate:

Jordan's countryside offers a diversity of climate and scenery. Within easy driving distance of the capital city of Amman, one can visit Irbid's temperate highlands, Ajlun's majestic hills, the fertile Jordan Valley, the southern sandstone mountains, and the arid desert of the eastern plateau.


Inadequate rainfall is a chronic problem. Rainfall usually occurs only from November to April; the rest of the year has bright sunshine daily and low humidity. In the spring, a desert wind brings higher temperatures; daytime summer temperatures can be hot, but nights are usually pleasant, cool, and dry. Autumn is long and pleasant; winter can sometimes bring light snow to the mountains and to Amman; and spring carpets the country's grazing lands with beautiful wildflowers.

Terrain:

mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River

Natural Resources:

phosphates, potash, shale oil

Natural Hazards:

droughts; periodic earthquakes

Irrigated Land:

304 Square Miles
789 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Jordan Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 34,495 Square Miles
89,342 Square Kilometers
Land Area 34,286 Square Miles
88,802 Square Kilometers
Water Area 208 Square Miles
540 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,016 Miles
1,635 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 304 Square Miles
789 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Coastline 16 Miles
26 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 31 00 N, 36 00 E
Terrain mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Highest Point 1,734 Meters
Highest Point Location Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Lowest Point -408 Meters
Lowest Point Location Dead Sea -408 m
Natural Resources phosphates, potash, shale oil
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October
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