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Czech Republic:
Geography

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Other pages in this profile of the Czech Republic:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Location
Definition
Central Europe, southeast of Germany
Geographic coordinates
Definition
49 45 N, 15 30 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 78,866 sq km
land: 77,276 sq km
water: 1,590 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 2,290.2 km
border countries: Austria 466.3 km, Germany 810.3 km, Poland 761.8 km, Slovakia 251.8 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain
Definition
Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Elbe River 115 m
highest point: Snezka 1,602 m
Natural resources
Definition
hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 38.82%
permanent crops: 3%
other: 58.18% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
240 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
16 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 1.91 cu km/yr (41%/57%/2%)
per capita: 187 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards
Definition
flooding
Environment - current issues
Definition
air and water pollution in areas of northwest Bohemia and in northern Moravia around Ostrava present health risks; acid rain damaging forests; efforts to bring industry up to EU code should improve domestic pollution
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party 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 Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate is a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe


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