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Geography of Guyana


Situated on the northeast coast of South America, Guyana is the third-smallest country on the continent, with an area of 214,970 km² (83,000 mi²), extending 807 km (501 mi) north to south, and 436 km (271 mi) east to west, including disputed areas. Comparatively, the area occupied by Guyana is slightly bigger than Belarus or smaller than the state of Idaho, USA. Bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by Suriname, on the south and southwest by Brazil, and on the northwest by Venezuela, Guyana has a total boundary length of 2,921 km (1,815 mi) of which 459 km (285 mi) is coastline.

Neither Guyana's western border with Venezuela nor its eastern border with Suriname has been resolved. Venezuela claims all territory west of the Essequibo River, an area of more than 130,000 km² (50,000 mi²), or over three-fifths of Guyana. Suriname claims a largely uninhabited area of 15,000 km² (5,800 mi²) in the southeast, between two tributaries of the Corentyne River.

Guyana's capital city, Georgetown, is located on the country's Atlantic coast.

Guyana has three main natural regions: a low-lying coastal plain, extending for about 435 km (270 mi) and ranging from 16 to 64 km (10-40 mi) in width, much of which is below high-tide level and must be protected by sea walls and drainage canals; a region of heavily forested, rolling, hilly land, about 160 km (100 mi) in width, which contains most of the mineral wealth and comprises almost five-sixths of Guyana's land area; and in the south and west, a region of mountains and savannas. There are several large rivers, including the Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice, but few are navigable for any distance above the plains because of rapids and falls.

The climate is subtropical and rainy. The average temperature at Georgetown is 27°C (81°F); there is little seasonal variation in temperature or in humidity, which averages 80-85%. Rainfall averages 229 cm (90 in) a year along the coast, falling in two wet seasons – May to July and November to January – and 165 cm (65 in) in the southwest, where there is a single wet season, extending from April through August.


Location : Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates : 5 00 N, 59 00 W
Map references

: South America

: total: 214,969 sq km

land: 196,849 sq km

water: 18,120 sq km
Area - comparative : slightly bigger than Belarus or slightly smaller than Idaho, USA
Land boundaries : total: 2,949 km

border countries: Brazil 1,606 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km
Coastline : 459 km
Maritime claims
: territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Climate : tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)
Terrain : mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremes
: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resources

: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land use : arable land: 1.95%

permanent crops: 0.13%

other: 97.92% (2011)
Irrigated land

: 1,501 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources : 241 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

: total: 1.64 cu km/yr (4%/1%/94%)

per capita: 2,222 cu m/yr (2010)
Natural hazards
: flash flood threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues
: water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note : the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively




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