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Montserrat:
Geography

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Montserrat Page


Background
Definition
English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.
Location
Definition
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates
Definition
16 45 N, 62 12 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 102 sq km
land: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
40 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
Definition
volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Elevation extremes
Definition
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
Definition
NEGL
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (Soufriere Hills volcano has erupted continuously since 1995)
Environment - current issues
Definition
land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
Geography - note
Definition
the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages


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