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Extreme points of France

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Extreme points of France

Coordinates: 46°00′N 2°00′E / 46.000°N 2.000°E / 46.000; 2.000

France is a country in Western Europe. France borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. To the west is the Bay of Biscay, to the north is the English Channel. France also has territory in South America, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, as well as numerous territories of various status.

Area

  • Total area: 674,843 km2
    • (Whole territory of the French Republic, including all the overseas departments and territories, but excluding the disputed French territory of Terre Adélie in Antarctica)
  • Metropolitan France: 551,695 km2
    • (Metropolitan - i.e. European - France only, French National Geographic Institute data)
  • Metropolitan France: 543,965 km2
    • (Metropolitan - i.e. European - France only, French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds, glaciers larger than 1 km2
      , and estuaries)

Terrain


Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west.

Elevation extremes:

Land use

  • Arable land: 33.46%
  • Permanent crops: 2.03%
  • Other: 64.51% (2005)

Irrigated land: 26,700 km² (2003)

Total renewable water resources:' 189 km3 (2003)

Natural resources

Coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish

Natural hazards

Flooding, avalanches, midwinter windstorms, drought, forest fires in the south near the Mediterranean, earthquakes klj

Environment

Some forest damage from acid rain (major forest damage occurred as a result of severe December 1999 windstorm);

Flora and Fauna

An open grassland during the Pleistocene Ice Age, France gradually became forested as the glaciers retreated starting in 10,000 BC. Clearing of the primeval forests began in Neolithic times, but they were still fairly extensive until major clearing began in medieval times./

By the 15th century, France had largely been denuded of its forests and was forced to rely on Scandinavia and their North American colonies for lumber. Significant remaining forested areas are in the Gascony region and north in the Alsace-Ardennes area. The Ardennes Forest was the scene of extensive fighting in both world wars.

In prehistoric times, France was home to large predatory animals such as wolves and brown bears, as well as herbivores like elk. The larger fauna have disappeared outside of the Pyrenees Mountains where bears live as a protected species. Smaller animals include martens, wild pigs, foxes, weasels, bats, rodents, rabbits, and assorted birds.

The upper central part of this scene is dominated by the Paris Basin, which consists of a layered sequence of sedimentary rocks. Fertile soils over much of the area make good agricultural land. The Normandie coast to the upper left is characterized by high, chalk cliffs, while the Brittany coast (the peninsula to the left) is highly indented where deep valleys were drowned by the sea, and the Biscay coast to the southwest is marked by flat, sandy beaches.

Political Geography

Internal divisions


France has several levels of internal divisions. The first-level administrative division of Integral France is regions. Besides this the French Republic has sovereignty over several other territories, with various administrative levels.

  • Metropolitan (i.e. European) France is divided into 21 régions and 1 territorial collectivity, Corsica. However, Corsica is referred to as a region in common speech. These regions are subdivided into 96 départements, which are further divided into 329 arrondissements, which are further divided into 3,879 cantons, which are further divided into 36,568 communes (as of 1/1/2004).


  • Five overseas regions (régions d'outre-mer, or ROM): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion, with identical status to metropolitan regions. Each of these overseas regions also being an overseas département (département d'outre-mer, or DOM), with the same status as a département of metropolitan France. This double structure (région/département) is new, due to the recent extension of the regional scheme to the overseas départements, and may soon transform into a single structure, with the merger of the regional and departmental assemblies. Another proposed change is that new départements are created such as in the case of Réunion, where it has been proposed to create a second département in the south of the island, with the région of Réunion above these two départements.


  • One overseas "country" (pays d'outre-mer, or POM): French Polynesia. In 2003 it became an overseas collectivity (or COM). Its statutory law of 27 February 2004 gives it the particular designation of overseas country inside the Republic (or POM), but without legal modification of its status.
  • One uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico which belongs directly to the central State public land and is administered by the high-commissioner of the French Republic in French Polynesia: Clipperton.

Boundaries

  • Land boundaries:
  • Border countries:
  • Coastline: 3,427 km (metropolitan), 378 km (French Guiana), 306 km (Guadeloupe), 350 km (Martinique), 207 km (Réunion)
  • 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); does not apply to the Mediterranean
    • Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of France; the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

France (mainland Europe)



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