France: Geography#

LocationMetropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about half way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic CoordinatesMetropolitan France: 46 00 N, 2 00 E French Guiana: 4 00 N, 53 00 W Guadeloupe: 16 15 N, 61 35 W Martinique: 14 40 N, 61 00 W Mayotte: 12 50 S, 45 10 E Reunion: 21 06 S, 55 36 E 46,2
Area total: 643,801 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
land: 640,427 sq km; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France)
water: 3,374 sq km; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)
Note: The first numbers include the overseas departmenents French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion
We are unable to verify those figures from Factbook, since the 6 main sources we used for checking give different figures as follows:
Factbook: 643801
DBpedia: 674843
Geoname: 547030
Infoplease: 547030
Britannica: 543965
Wolfram: 551500

Attempted Explanation:
For France, Britannica gives the smallest area. This agrees exactly with the area in the largest German encyclopaedia Brockhaus (2014): It follows the French Land register data that excludes lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km² and the estuaries of rivers. (This is, by the way, very much in contrast to how the figures are arrived e.g. for Finland that not only includes freshwater lakes like many databases but also ocean channels!). Including bodies of water the French National Geographi
Land boundariesmetropolitan France - total: 2,751 km
border countries: Andorra 55 km, Belgium 556 km, Germany 418 km, Italy 476 km, Luxembourg 69 km, Monaco 6 km, Spain 646 km, Switzerland 525 km
French Guiana - total: 1,205 km
border countries: Brazil 649 km, Suriname 556 km
Coastlinetotal: 4,853 km metropolitan France: 3,427 km
Elevation Extremeslowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
note: in order to assess the possible effects of climate change on the ice and snow cap of Mont Blanc, its surface and peak have been extensively measured in recent years; these new peak measurements have exceeded the traditional height of 4,807 m and have varied between 4,808 m and 4,811 m; the actual rock summit is 4,792 m and is 40 m away from the ice-covered summit
Highest MountainsDue to difference in mountain rankings taken from two data sources we are listing here both lists :
According to Wolfram: Mont Blanc 4810 m; Mont Blanc de Courmayeur 4748 m; Pointe Luis-Amedeo 4469 m; Mont Maudit 4465 m; Mont-blanc Du Tacul 4248 m
According to Geonames: Mont Blanc 4810 m; Mont Maudit 4465 m; Mont Blanc du Tacul 4248 m; Les Écrins 4101 m; Aiguille de Rochefort 4001 m

Attempted Explanation: Please help us to try to explain the discrepancies by sending us helpful information to
Important Mountains
Terrainmetropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east French Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin Martinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano Mayotte: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast
Natural Hazardsmetropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)
Natural Resourcemetropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay
Land Usearable land: 33.45%
permanent crops: 1.86%
other: 64.69%
note: French Guiana - arable land 0.13%, permanent crops 0.04%, other 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other); Guadeloupe - arable land 11.70%, permanent crops 2.92%, other 85.38%; Martinique - arable land 9.09%, permanent crops 10.0%, other 80.91%; Reunion - arable land 13.94%, permanent crops 1.59%, other 84.47% (2011)
Climatemetropolitan France: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral French Guiana: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average Mayotte: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November) Reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)
Irrigated Landtotal: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km metropolitan France: 27,230 sq km (2007)
Renewable Water Resources211 cu km (2011)
Environment_CurrentIssuessome forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Large CitiesParis; Marseille; Lyon; Toulouse; Nice
Important Cities
Geography-notelargest West European nation