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Mauritius Geography

by Vishal Kumar

Mauritius geography states that the island is located on the eastern regions of Madagascar at a distance of 800 km. The country lies between 19° 59′ S and 20° 32′ S…

Mauritius geography states that the island is located on the eastern regions of Madagascar at a distance of 800 km. The country lies between 19° 59′ S and 20° 32′ S latitude and between 57° 18′ E and 57° 49′ E longitude.

The island of Mauritius is 61 km long and 46 km wide. The total land area of the country, as per the Mauritius geography, is 2040 square km. The Rodrigues Island, a part of the country, is located 600 km east to Mauritius and covers a total area of 119 square kilometers.

According to the Mauritian geography, along with the twin island of Reunion, Mauritius is a part of the Mascarene Islands. The archipelago of Mauritius was constructed due to a series of volcanic eruptions under the sea bed. The nearest neighbor of Mauritius is the French island of Reunion, which is settled at a distance of 145 kilometers towards the south western border of the country. Along with the Mascarene Plateau, the group of islands in Mauritius is located over some of the submerged ridges in the Indian Ocean. The Mascarene Plateau stretches up to a distance of 3,000 km and is present in the form of an arc that bends in the outward direction. It has its origin in the African land. The submerged plateau is further connected to the huge Mid-Indian Ridge with the help of the Rodrigues Fracture Zone, which runs in the eastern direction.

Although the island of Mauritius was created due to the volcanic eruptions, there is no news of any such occurrence for the past 100,000 years.

Mauritius was born some 12 million years back and is covered on all sides with some fractured mountain ranges that stand as tall as 600 to 800 meters. There are slopes present in the center of the island that bend from a height of 300 m, in the northern direction till 600 m in the south western direction.

The highest point of Mauritius geography is the Mount Piton (828 m) and the lowest point is the Indian Ocean. Some of the mountain ranges that affect the geography of Mauritius to a large extent are Mont Blanche, Grand Port Range, Savanne Mountains, Mont Piton, Fayences Mountain and Riviere Noire Mountains. 46% of total area is taken up by the gentle slopes and lowland plains. There is a wide range of coral white sand beaches, shallow lagoons and dunes in the country. Mauritian geography also points out the fact that the natural resources of the country are its arable land and fish. Tea, sugarcane and rice are the major crops that are cultivated in the hilly plains. Mixed vegetables are also grown in some interior regions.

The climatic condition of Mauritius, according to the geography of Mauritius, remains similar to the tropical countries, due to the south western winds. Winter remain dry, from May till November, while the summer remain wet, humid and hot during the months of November to May.

Cyclone is one of the major natural hazards that are predominant in the region of Mauritius, which occur during the months of November to April. Maritime hazards are also a threat to the country since it is encapsulated between mountains on all sides. A large number of rivers as well as streams are also present in Mauritius, which flow uncontrolled during the cyclones and storms. Mauritius however has only two natural lakes, which fall under the category of crater lakes. Mare aux Vacoas is the largest man-made reservoir, while many ponds and marshes are present in the mainland of Mauritius.

The exclusive economic zone or the EEZ stretches up to 1.2 million square kilometers into the Indian Ocean due to the presence of two islands over the northern regions of Mauritius. These twin islands are known by the names of Cargados Carajos Shoals and the Agalega Islands, which are mostly uninhabited. There is also a group of 20 unpopulated islands located at some distance from the mainland. The Tromelin Islands are situated at a distance of 483 kilometers towards the north western direction of the main coast of Mauritius. Along with France, Mauritius also claims sovereignty over the Tromelin Islands.

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