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Geographic Facts

Area: total: 5,031,612 sq km
land: 2,645,862 sq km
water: 2,385,750 sq km
Land boundaries
total: 21,665 km
Coastline: 13,589 km

Maritime claims
contiguous zone: 100km
territorial sea: 200km
exclusive economic zone: 400 km

Elevation extremes
lowest point: -35 m
highest point: 7,853 m

Natural resources
Land use: fertile plains, extensive mineral deposits (including: petroleum, natural gas, uranium, cobalt, manganese, chromium, platinum group metals, iron ore, nickel, tungsten, vanadium, molybidium, tantalum, titanium, gold, copper, silver, antimony, coal, phosphates, gem diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, and salt)
arable land: 14.3%
permanent crops: 1.7%
other: 84%
Irrigated land: 25,610 sq km

Natural hazards: earthquakes, violent storms, heavy flooding Climate
Climate: The climate is a cool, continental climate with abundant rainfall and a long overcast season in the west. There are lower temperatures with considerable snowfall in east and north. The country is prone to rapid weather variations and extreme northeastern climate conditions.

General Topography
Topography: The terrain rises from Western coastal lowlands through a belt of central uplands, complex and varied in form. East of the central uplands, a high plain, known as the Eastern Uplands, suddenly rises to the Taen Shaen Mountains in far west. These are sub-divided into three distinct, roughly parallel chains. These are the Nagans range, the Maers range, and the Kraes range. Most important rivers are the Fri, flowing to west; the Kir, flowing to northwest; and the Daek, flowing to southwest.

The Coastal Lowland
The Coastal Lowland is a great sweeping plain that sweeps from north to south. Hills in the lowland only rarely reach 200 meters in height, and most of the region is well under 100 meters above sea level. At certain points it actually drops below sea level, requiring an extensive system of dykes and levees in some areas. The lowlands slope almost imperceptibly toward the sea. The coastline is devoid of cliffs and has wide expanses of sand, marsh, and mud flats.

In the south, the coast is inundated mud flats. The mud flats between the islands and the shore are exposed at very low tides and are crossed by innumerable channels varying in size from those cut by small creeks to those serving as the estuaries of the Daek river. The mud and sand are constantly shifting, and all harbor and shipping channels require continuing maintenance.

The northern sea coast differs markedly from the southern sea coast. It is indented by a number of small, deep fjords with steep banks, which were carved by rivers when the land was covered with glacial ice. Offshore there is series of small offshore islands have a maximum elevation of fewer than thirty-five meters and have been subject to eroding forces that have washed away whole sections during severe storms. Although the South Islands are strung along the coast in a nearly straight line, the North Islands are irregularly shaped and are haphazardly positioned. They were also once a part of the mainland, and a large portion of the mud flats between the islands and the coast is exposed during low tides.

Much of the coastal lowland terrain is rolling and drainage is satisfactory. This land is highly productive, especially in areas containing very fertile silt like loess soil, located in the south. Because the areas with loess soil also have a moderate continental climate with a long growing season, they are considered the nation's breadbasket.

Central Uplands
The Central Uplands are generally moderate in height and seldom reach elevations above 1,100 meters. In the south, the Central Uplands begin with a massive rectangular block of slate and shale with a gently rolling plateau of about 400 meters in elevation and peaks of about 800 to 900 meters. Moving north, the Uplands are divided by two deep and dramatic river valleys - the Daek and the Fri. Between the two rivers is a high hilly area. To the north of the Fri lies several small range of hills. Finally, in the north are larger hilly regions. The lower elevations of the Uplands are heavily forested. Barren moors cover the higher elevations. The middle elevation areas are well suited for the growing of grain, fruit, and early potatoes. The highest point in the Central Uplands is 1,142 meters. The hilly ranges are an important source for many minerals.

Eastern Uplands
Between the Central Uplands and the Foreland and the Taen Shaen, lies the Eastern Uplands. These ranges are separate from those of the Central Uplands, and are up to 1,000 meters in height and approximately forty kilometers wide. The landscape of the Western Uplands is often that of scarp and vale, with eroded sandstone and limestone scarps facing to the northwest. The lower terraces of the river valleys have warm, dry climate, and are highly suitable for agriculture. Especially orchards and vineyards flourish.

Te Foreland and the Taen Shaen
The Kraes, in the far east, are the loftiest of the mountain systems. They form a massive 750-kilometer-long towering crystaline arc of glaciated mountain peaks, consisting largely of a granite base, dotted with snow-covered volcanoes. The climate is arctic at the highest elevations, and parts of the range are permanently glaciated. Some of the snowcapped peaks reach heights of over 7,500 meters above sea level. There are no plateaus in this range and no passes under 3,300 meters. The Maers, are an older reange. Geologically, they are predominantly limestone and dolomite. Peaks range from 3000 to 5000 meters. The Nagans are the westernmost range. They are composed of folded stratified rocks overlying a crystalline core. The Nagans are relatively low. Summits are only about 3,000 meters above sea level and do not have permanent snows. The relatively low elevation of the Nagans permits dense forests.

Geographic Divisions (Cantons)

Coastal Lowlands
Goang Bathaeng
Ti City Capitol Territory,

Central Uplands

Eastern Uplands
Kim Bap

The Foreland and the Taen Shaen
New Stal
New Whilan