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Geography of Indonesia


Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean


Geographic coordinates

5 00 S, 120 00 E

Map references

Southeast Asia


total: 1,904,569 sq km 
land: 1,811,569 sq km 

water: 93,000 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 2,830 km 

border countries: Timor-Leste 228 km, Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km


54,716 km

Maritime claims

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines 

territorial sea: 12 nm 

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands


mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m 

highest point: Puncak Jaya 5,030 m

Natural resources

petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver

Land use

arable land: 11.03% 
permanent crops: 7.04% 
other: 81.93% (2005)

Irrigated land

67,220 sq km (2008)

Total renewable water resources

2,838 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 82.78 cu km/yr (8%/1%/91%) 
per capita: 372 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards

occasional floods; severe droughts; tsunamis; earthquakes; volcanoes; forest fires 

volcanism: Indonesia contains the most volcanoes of any country in the world - some 76 are historically active; significant volcanic activity occurs on Java, western Sumatra, the Sunda Islands, Halmahera Island, Sulawesi Island, Sangihe Island, and in the Banda Sea; Merapi (elev. 2,968 m), Indonesia's most active volcano and in eruption since 2010, has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Agung, Awu, Karangetang, Krakatau (Krakatoa), Makian, Raung, and Tambora

Environment - current issues

deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas; smoke and haze from forest fires

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands 

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean

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