Location:
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 S, 159 00 E
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 28,896 sq km

country comparison to the world: 144

land: 27,986 sq km
water: 910 sq km
Area – comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
5,313 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
Terrain:
mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m
Natural resources:
fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use:
arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 2.25%
other: 97.13% (2011)
Irrigated land:
NA
Total renewable water resources:
44.7 cu km (2011)
Natural hazards:
typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
Environment – current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note:
strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit