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Trinidad and Tobago:
Geography

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Trinidad and Tobago Page


Other pages in this profile of Trinidad and Tobago:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
First colonized by the Spanish, the islands came under British control in the early 19th century. The islands' sugar industry was hurt by the emancipation of the slaves in 1834. Manpower was replaced with the importation of contract laborers from India between 1845 and 1917, which boosted sugar production as well as the cocoa industry. The discovery of oil on Trinidad in 1910 added another important export. Independence was attained in 1962. The country is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean thanks largely to petroleum and natural gas production and processing. Tourism, mostly in Tobago, is targeted for expansion and is growing. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.
Location
Definition
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates
Definition
11 00 N, 61 00 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 5,128 sq km
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
362 km
Maritime claims
Definition
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Climate
Definition
tropical; rainy season (June to December)
Terrain
Definition
mostly plains with some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 14.62%
permanent crops: 9.16%
other: 76.22% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
40 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
3.8 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.31 cu km/yr (68%/26%/6%)
per capita: 237 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues
Definition
water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: 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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt


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