Margai, Florence Department of Geography, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York.
Last reviewed:July 2015
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- Structure and geology
- Surface features
- Climatic factors
- Regional distribution of climate, vegetation, and soils
- Drainage systems
- Population and environmental hazards
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A continent that straddles the Equator, extending between 37°N and 35°S. It is the second largest continent, exceeded only by the Eurasia landmass (see illustration). The political geography of the continent continues to evolve as the traditional states face ongoing threats of instability. There are currently 54 sovereign states with a strong possibility that Sudan, the largest state, will be divided into two independent territories. The total area of the continent, is 11,700,000 mi2 (30,300,000 km2), comprising approximately 20% of the world's land area. Despite its large area, the continent has a simple geological structure, a compact shape with a smooth outline, and a symmetrical distribution of climate and vegetation.
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