Land and Resources, Natural Regions
Santa Ana volcano, Gulf of Fonseca, Pacific coastline, highest mountains, volcanic ash
Volcanic ranges occupy most of El Salvador’s area. More than 25 extinct volcanic cones punctuate its horizons, with many small and large craters showing past lava flows. The San Miguel, Santa Ana, San Salvador, and Izalco volcanoes have all been active in modern times. The highest mountains are in the sparsely populated, northwestern part of the country and include the Santa Ana volcano, the highest point in the country, at 2,385 m (7,825 ft) above sea level.
Most of El Salvador’s population and agricultural land are located in the central plateaus and valleys, at elevations from 600 m (2,000 ft) to 1,200 m (4,000 ft), where volcanic ash contributes to rich soil. The Pacific coastal plain also offers rich agricultural lands. However, much of it is sandy and marshy, except for areas near the Gulf of Fonseca, where the land is higher and is marked by cliffs and ridges. Small bays, coves, capes, estuaries, and islands dot the 300-km (200-mi) Pacific coastline. El Salvador claims territorial waters to 200 nautical miles (370 km/230 mi) offshore. Earthquakes are frequent in El Salvador.
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