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Geography of Montserrat


The island of Montserrat is located approximately 480 km (300 mi) east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 48 km (30 mi) southwest of Antigua. It comprises 104 km² (40 mi²) but is currently gradually increasing in size owing to the buildup of volcanic deposits on the southeast coast. The island is 16 km (9.9 mi) long and 11 km (6.8 mi) wide, with rock cliffs rising 15 to 30 m (50-100 feet) above the sea and a number of smooth bottomed sandy beaches scattered among coves on the western (Caribbean) side of the island. Comparatively, Montserrat is just slightly bigger than Anguilla, or about 0.6 times the size of Washington DC. Montserrat has two islets, Little Redonda and Virgin, and Statue Rock.

The climate in Montserrat is tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation. Winter and summer temperatures average between 24 and 32°C (76 to 88°F). with constant breezes from the sea and mountains. The annual rainfall is about 1,250-2,000 mm or 50-80 inches, well distributed throughout the year, with a wetter season from July to November.


Location : Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates : 16 45 N, 62 12 W
Map references : Central America and the Caribbean
Area : total: 102 sq km
land: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative : about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries : 0 km

Coastline : 40 km
Maritime claims
: territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate : tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Terrain : volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Elevation extremes
: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: lava dome in English's Crater (in the Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) estimated at over 930 m (2006)
Natural resources : NEGL
Land use : arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (2005)
Irrigated land : NA
Natural hazards : severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions
volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano, at a height of 915 m (3,010 ft), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable
Environment - current issues : land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
Geography - note : the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centres of differing ages




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