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Geography of Morocco

Related subjects: African Geography

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True-colour image of Morocco from Terra spacecraft
Topography of Morocco
Morocco's and Western Sahara's cities and main towns

The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara (desert). Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

A large part of Morocco is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains are located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people.

Geography statistics Coordinates: 32°00′N 5°00′W

Map references: Africa

total: 710 850 km²
land: 710 850 km²
water: 250 km²

Area - comparative: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries:
total: 2 017.9 km
border countries: Algeria 1 559 km, Mauritania 1561 km, Spain ( Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain ( Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline: 1 835 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24  nmi (44.4 km; 27.6 mi)
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Physical geography

Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

Terrain: northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains

Geography - note: strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jbel Toubkal 4165 m




Terrestrial ecoregions

Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
  • Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe
  • Mediterranean woodlands and forests
  • Mediterranean acacia-argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets
Temperate coniferous forests
  • Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests
Montane grasslands and shrublands
  • Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe
Deserts and xeric shrublands
  • North Saharan steppe and woodlands

Freshwater ecoregions

  • Permanent Maghreb
  • Temporary Maghreb

Marine ecoregions

  • Alboran Sea
  • Saharan Upwelling

Current environmental issues

Land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters

International environmental agreements

Morocco is party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution ( MARPOL 73/78), Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

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