Geography of the United States Virgin Islands

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{island, water, area}

Location: Caribbean, islands 1,100 miles (1,770 km) southeast of Florida, 600 miles (966 km) north of Venezuela, 40 miles (64 km) east of Puerto Rico; between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, bordering the Virgin Islands Trough and the Anegada Passage and roughly 100 miles (161 km) south of the Puerto Rico Trench

Statistics

Geographic coordinates: 18°20′N 64°50′W / 18.333°N 64.833°W / 18.333; -64.833

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Islands: Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Water Island, many other islands

Area:

Area - comparative: twice the size of Washington, D.C.

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 188 km

Maritime claims:

Terrain: Most of the islands, including Saint Thomas and Saint John, are volcanic in origin and are mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land. Saint Croix was formed by a coral reef and is flatter.

Elevation extremes:

Natural resources: sun, sand, sea, surf

Land use:

Irrigated land: NA km²

Natural hazards: several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes; rare tsunamis

Environment - current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources

Geography - note: important location along the Anegada Passage - a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas is one of the best natural, deepwater harbors in the Caribbean; well-known beaches include Magens Bay (Saint Thomas) and Trunk Bay (Saint John); coral reefs include Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument and the Buck Island Reef National Monument; more than half of Saint John and nearly all of Hassel Island are owned by the U.S. National Park Service

Climate

Tropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November.

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