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Austria Geography

Geography

In essence, Austria has three main geographical areas.

The Lowlands of the east and southeast are the country's agriculture center. A sliver of lowland also fronts the Lake Constance area on its border with Switzerland.

In the Hill Country, north of the Danube River, the land rises into forested hills and lower mountains up to its border with the Czech Republic.

Most of Austria (70%), is covered by the Alpine Region, central and west, as the Alps extend on into Austria from Switzerland.

In this region several branches, spurs and forested, snow-capped ranges of the Alps dominate. The major ones include the Bavarian, Carnic and Otztaler ranges.

The highest peaks are in the central Tauern Range. , the country's highest point, at 12,460 ft. (3,798 m), is located there.

The Tauern Range eventually slopes into the Danube River Valley, and into the eastern lowlands, from Vienna, south to its border with Slovenia.

The Danube (1,771 miles) (2,850 km), is the most significant river in the country. It's the second longest river in Europe, and a vital waterway for commerce. Additional rivers of size include the Drau, Enns, Inn, Mur, Raab and Traun.

Dozens and dozens of lakes run amidst the mountain ranges, especially in the south and to the immediate east of Salzburg. The largest in the county is Lake Neusiedler.

Geography Austria

Location:

Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates:

47 20 N, 13 20 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 83,870 sq km
land: 82,444 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:

total: 2,562 km
border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km, Switzerland 164 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers

Terrain:

in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m

Natural resources:

oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 16.91%
permanent crops: 0.86%
other: 82.23% (2001)

Irrigated land:

457 sq km (2000 est.)

Natural hazards:

landslides; avalanches; earthquakes

Environment - current issues:

some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, 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, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere

Note: The information tabled directly above was researched by and provided by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

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This page was last modified on August 12, 2015.