Uruguay Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Uruguay?

Overview:

The Repú blica Oriental del Uruguay (the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, or roughly translated, the Republic East of the River Uruguay) covers an area of 72,200 square miles, about as large as Greece or the state of Montana. Uruguay’s topography is divided into three parts: the southern area, a belt of gently undulating plains; the western part, an extension of Argentina’s flat pampas; and the northern area, an extension of southern Brazil’s low regions and broad valleys. Maximum elevation above sea level is about 2,000 feet; the average being about 490 feet. Few natural forests exist, but extensive forestation with pine and eucalyptus trees has been undertaken.

Geography - note:

second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising

Climate:

Except for a small subtropical area in the northwest, the climate is even throughout Uruguay. Temperatures are generally mild, but seasons are distinct: summer daytime temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely exceed the mid-90s; autumn (March-May) is mild; and spring (September-November) is often damp, cool and windy. In winter, monthly temperatures range from 44� 60 degrees Fahrenheit with rare frost. However, humidity, averaging 75% year round, intensifies the cold. Average annual rainfall is 39.5 inches.

Uruguay Use of Natural Resources

Uruguay Environment

Climate:

Except for a small subtropical area in the northwest, the climate is even throughout Uruguay. Temperatures are generally mild, but seasons are distinct: summer daytime temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely exceed the mid-90s; autumn (March-May) is mild; and spring (September-November) is often damp, cool and windy. In winter, monthly temperatures range from 44� 60 degrees Fahrenheit with rare frost. However, humidity, averaging 75% year round, intensifies the cold. Average annual rainfall is 39.5 inches.

Terrain:

mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland

Natural Resources:

arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries

Natural Hazards:

seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind which blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts

Irrigated Land:

699 Square Miles
1,810 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Uruguay Geography

Geographic Location South America
Total Area 68,037 Square Miles
176,215 Square Kilometers
Land Area 67,573 Square Miles
175,015 Square Kilometers
Water Area 463 Square Miles
1,200 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,024 Miles
1,648 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 699 Square Miles
1,810 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Argentina 579 km, Brazil 985 km
Coastline 410 Miles
660 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 33 00 S, 56 00 W
Terrain mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Highest Point 514 Meters
Highest Point Location Cerro Catedral 514 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fisheries
Time Zone UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
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