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Cyprus Geography

Geography

A very narrow band of mountains (the Kyrenia) slices across the northern edge of Cyprus. That low range of mountains reaches a maximum of 1,024 m (3,360 ft) in elevation.

In the south and western portions of the island the Troodos Mountains dominate. The highest point on Cyprus, located in the center of the Troodos range, is Mount Olympus at 1,952 m (6,404 ft).

To the north of Nicosia is a somewhat fertile plain called the Mesaoria, it crosses the island from west to east. There are a number of rivers crossing that plain, but none of them have water year round.

Rivers are seasonal and only flow after heavy rain, and under those conditions the Pedieos is the longest river in Cyprus. It rises in the Troodos Mountains, flowing northeast through the capital city of Nicosia. It then steers east, meeting the sea at Famagusta Bay. The river has a total length of approximately 100 km.

Cyprus has over 100 dams and reservoirs, and all are the island's principal source of water for both agricultural and domestic use.

Geography Cyprus
Location: Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey

Geographic coordinates:

35 00 N, 33 00 E

Map references:

Middle East

Area:

total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
land: 9,240 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Area - comparative:

about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries:

total: NA; note - boundary with Dhekelia is being resurveyed
border countries: Akrotiri 47.4 km, Dhekelia NA

Coastline:

648 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters

Terrain:

central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 1,951 m

Natural resources:

copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment

Land use:

arable land: 7.79%
permanent crops: 4.44%
other: 87.77% (2001)

Irrigated land:

382 sq km (2001 est.)

Natural hazards:

moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment - current issues:

water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island's largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)

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

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An aerial view of Cyprus

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This page was last modified on August 12, 2015.