slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).
Continental shelf - the LOS Convention (Article 76) defines the continental shelf of a coastal State as comprising the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance; the continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the landmass of the coastal State, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise; it does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof. A full and definitive definition can be found in the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention.
Contiguous zone - according to the LOS Convention (Article 33), this is a zone contiguous to a coastal State's territorial sea, over which it may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (e.g. the US has claimed a 12-mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-mile territorial sea). A full and definitive definition can be found in the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention.
Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the LOS Convention (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal State has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natura
territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal State extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the LOS Convention (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles. A full and definitive definition can be found in the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention.
continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
dominated by the volcano Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985