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Spain: External Boundaries and Landform Regions
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Geography > External Boundaries and Landform Regions

EXTERNAL BOUNDARIES AND LANDFORM REGIONS


Most of Spain's boundary is water: the Mediterranean Sea on the south and east from Gibraltar to the French border; and the Atlantic Ocean on the northwest and southwest -- in the south as the Golfo de Cadiz and in the north as the Bay of Biscay. Spain also shares land boundaries with France and Andorra along the Pyrenees in the northeast, with Portugal on the west, and with the small British possession of Gibraltar at the southern tip. Although the affiliation of Gibraltar continued to be a contentious issue between Spain and Britain in the late 1980s, there were no other disputes over land boundaries, and no other country claimed the insular provinces of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

The majority of Spain's peninsular landmass consists of the Meseta Central, a highland plateau rimmed and dissected by mountain ranges. Other landforms include narrow coastal plains and some lowland river valleys, the most prominent of which is the Andalusian Plain in the southwest. The country can be divided into ten natural regions or subregions: the dominant Meseta Central, the Cordillera Cantabrica and the northwest region, the Iberico region, the Pyrenees, the Penibetico region in the southeast, the Andalusian Plain, the Ebro Basin, the coastal plains, the Balearic Islands, and the Canary Islands. These are commonly grouped into four types: the Meseta Central and associated mountains, other mountainous regions, lowland regions, and islands.

Data as of December 1988




Last Updated: December 1988


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Spain was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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