Country Listing

Libya Table of Contents



Size: About 1,760,000 square kilometers (excluding Aouzou Strip claimed by Chad) consisting mainly of desert. Land boundaries 4,345 kilometers long and coastline 1,770 kilometers long. Twelve-nautical- mile maritime claim, including disputed Gulf of Sidra.

Topography: Main contrast between narrow enclaves of fertile lowlands along Mediterranean coast and vast expanse of arid, rocky plains and sand seas to south. Coastal lowlands separated from one another by predesert zone and backed by plateaus with steep, north-facing scarps; country's only true mountains, Tibesti, rise in southern desert. Country has several saline lakes but no perennial watercourses. Less than 5 percent of territory economically useful.

Climate: Dominant climate influences Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert. In coastal lowlands, where 80 percent of population lives, climate Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters. Climate in desert interior characterized by very hot summers and extreme diurnal temperature ranges. Precipitation ranges from light to negligible; less than 2 percent of country receives enough rainfall for settled agriculture.

Data as of 1987