Moldova Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Moldova?

Overview:

Moldova encompasses what was until August 1991 the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, and is located between Romania and Ukraine. Except for a small strip of land on the Danube River, the country is land‑locked. Moldova is a relatively small country, roughly 300 km long and 100 km across. The area east of the Dniester (Nistru) river, along with the city of Bender west of the Dniester, is the breakaway and officially unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, or Transnistria. Transnistria is not recognized by Moldova, the U.S., or any other country. Tiraspol is the "capital" of Transnistria. Moldova’s total population is 4.3 million, of whom 800,000 live in Chisinau. The majority of the population lives in the countryside in villages organized around former state farms.

The countryside is comprised mainly of gently rolling agricultural lands with a gradual slope south toward the Black Sea. Seventy percent of the soil is composed of the famous, fertile "Black Earth" (chernozim) in this region. Because of the clearing of land for agricultural cultivation—especially in the Soviet era for grape production—there are few forests or woodlands. There has been soil erosion due to farming methods

Geography - note:

landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

Climate:

Moldova's climate is mild in the winter and warm in the summery. Winter temperatures are typically in the 20s (F) but occasionally fall below zero. Highs in the summer are typically in the 80s but can go as high as 100. There are four distinct seasons, with foliage on trees between April and October. The climate is semi‑arid. Because of the clearing of land for agricultural cultivation--especially in the Soviet era for grape production--there are few forests or woodlands. There has been soil erosion due to farming methods. The effect in the cities is that occasionally dust can blow up from the streets in gusts. Humidity in the summer can be high.

Moldova Use of Natural Resources

Moldova Environment

Climate:

Moldova's climate is mild in the winter and warm in the summery. Winter temperatures are typically in the 20s (F) but occasionally fall below zero. Highs in the summer are typically in the 80s but can go as high as 100. There are four distinct seasons, with foliage on trees between April and October. The climate is semi‑arid. Because of the clearing of land for agricultural cultivation--especially in the Soviet era for grape production--there are few forests or woodlands. There has been soil erosion due to farming methods. The effect in the cities is that occasionally dust can blow up from the streets in gusts. Humidity in the summer can be high.

Terrain:

rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Natural Resources:

lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Natural Hazards:

landslides (57 cases in 1998)

Irrigated Land:

881 Square Miles
2,283 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Moldova Geography

Geographic Location Europe
Total Area 13,070 Square Miles
33,851 Square Kilometers
Land Area 12,699 Square Miles
32,891 Square Kilometers
Water Area 371 Square Miles
960 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 864 Miles
1,390 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 881 Square Miles
2,283 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km
Geographic Coordinates 47 00 N, 29 00 E
Terrain rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea
Highest Point 430 Meters
Highest Point Location Dealul Balanesti 430 m
Lowest Point 2 Meters
Lowest Point Location Dniester River 2 m
Natural Resources lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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