Geography of the Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands are a British dependency and island nation. It is a three-island archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, consisting of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. The Cayman Islands are 130 nautical miles (241 km; 150 mi) south of Cuba and 145 nautical miles (269 km; 167 mi) northwest of Jamaica, and are between Cuba and Central America. Its geographic coordinates are 19°30 north, 80°30 west.

The Cayman Islands have a land area of 101.2 square miles (262 km2), about 1.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) larger than Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Caymans have a coastline of 99 miles (159 km). The Cayman Islands make a maritime claim of a 200-nautical-mile (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) exclusive fishing zone and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi).

The Cayman Islands' lowest elevation is the Caribbean Sea at sea level. The highest point is The Bluff, a limestone outcrop 155 feet (47 m) in height on the eastern end of eastern Cayman Brac, which itself was named for The Bluff—"brac" is Gaelic for "bluff."

The Cayman Trough is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea and forms part of the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate.

Contents

Climate

The Cayman Islands have a tropical marine climate, with a wet season of warm, rainy summers (May to October) and a dry season of relatively cool winters (November to April). Terrain is mostly a low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs.

A major natural hazard is the tropical cyclones that form during the Atlantic hurricane season from July to November.

Environmental issues

An important environmental issue is the lack of fresh water resources. Drinking water supplies must be met by rainwater catchment and desalination.

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