Cambodia Geography

Cambodia is a nation in mainland Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, the Gulf of Thailand and covers a total area of 181,035 km2.  Cambodia capital town is Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s primary geographical features will be the low lying Central Ordinary which includes the Tonlé Sap basin, the low Mekong River flood-plains and the Bassac River ordinary surrounded by mountain ranges to the north, east, in the south-west and southern. The central lowlands prolong into Vietnam to the south-east. The southern and south-west of the united states constitute a 443 km (275 mi) long coastline at the Gulf of Thailand, seen as a sizable mangrove marsh, peninsulas, sandy beaches and headlands, and bays. Cambodia’s territorial waters take into account over 50 islands. The best peak is certainly Phnom Aural, sitting 1,810 meters (5,938 ft) above ocean level.

The landmass is bisected by the Mekong River, which at 486 km (302 mi) may be the longest river in Cambodia. After comprehensive rapids, turbulent sections and cataracts in Laos, the river enters the united states at Stung Treng province, is predominantly relaxed and navigable throughout the entire year since it widens significantly in the lowlands. The Mekong’s waters disperse into the around wetlands of central Cambodia and highly affect the seasonal character of the Tonlé Sap lake.

Two third of the country’s population reside in the lowlands, where in fact the wealthy sediment deposited through the Mekong’s annual flooding makes the agricultural lands extremely fertile. As deforestation and over-exploitation affected Cambodia just in recent years, forests, low mountain ranges, and local eco-areas still retain a lot of their organic potential and even though still house to the largest regions of contiguous and intact forests in mainland Southeast Asia, multiple serious environmental problems persist and accumulate, which are carefully linked to rapid population development, uncontrolled globalization, and inconsequential administration.

International borders are distributed to Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic upon the West and the North, and the Interpersonal Republic of Viet Nam upon the East and the Southeast. The united states is bounded on the Southeast by the Gulf of Thailand. In comparison to neighbors, Cambodia is definitely a geographical get in touch with the country administratively made up of 20 provinces, three which have relatively brief maritime boundaries, 2 municipalities, 172 districts, and 1,547 communes. The united states include a coastline of 435 km and intensive mangrove stands, a few of which are fairly undisturbed.

The dominant top features of the Cambodian landscape will be the large, nearly generally located, Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Bassac River Systems and the Mekong River, which crosses the united states from North to South. Encircling the Central Plains which protected three-quarters of the country’s region are the more densely forested and sparsely populated highlands, comprising: the Elephant Mountains and Cardamom Mountain of the southwest and western areas; the Dangrek Mountains of the North adjoining of the Korat Plateau of Thailand; and Rattanakiri Plateau and Chhlong highlands on the east merging with the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.

The Tonle Sap Basin-Mekong Lowlands region consists mainly of plains with elevations generally of significantly less than 100 meters.

As the elevation increases, the terrain becomes more rolling and dissected.

The Cardamom Mountains in the southwest rise to a lot more than 1,500 meters and is oriented generally in a northwest-southeast direction. The best mountain in Cambodia -Phnom Aural, at 1.771meters – is in the eastern component of this range.

The Elephant Range, an extension of Cardamom Mountains, runs towards the southern and the southeast and rises to elevations of between 500 and 1,000 meters. Both of these ranges are bordered on the west are narrow coastal basic facing the gulf of Thailand which has Kampong Som Bay. The Dangrek Mountains at the northern rim of Tonle Sap Basin, comprising a steep escarpment on the southern advantage of the Korat Plateau in Thailand, marks the boundary between Thailand and Cambodia. The common elevation around 500 meters with the best points reaching a lot more than 700 meters. Between your northern area of the Cardamom ranges and the western area of the Dangrek, lies, and expansion of the Tonle Sap Basin that merges into the plains in Thailand, permitting easy accesses from the border of Bangkok.

The Mekong River Cambodia’s largest river dominates the hydrology of the united states. The river originates in mainland China, flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand before getting into Cambodia. At Phnom Penh, with alternative hands, the Bassak River from the southern, and the Tonle Sap River linking with the ” Great Lake ” itself -Tonle Sap – form northwest. It continues further southeastward to its lower delta in Viet Nam and to the South China Sea.

The section of Mekong River passing through Cambodia lies within the topical wet and dry zone. It has a pronounced dry season during the Northern Hemisphere winter, with about 80 percent of the annual rainfall occurring during the southwest monsoon in May-October. The Mekong River average annual flow at Kratié of 441 km3 is estimated as 93 percent of the total Mekong run-off discharge into the sea. The discharge at Kratié ranges from a minimum of 1,250m3/s to the maximum 66,700m3/s.

The role of Tonle Sap as a buffer of the Mekong River system floods and the source of beneficial dry season flows warrants explanation. The Mekong River swells with waters during the monsoon reaching a flood discharge of 40,000m3/s at Phnom Penh. By about mid-June, the flow of Mekong and the Bassak River fed by monsoon rains increases to a point where its outlets through the delta cannot handle the enormous volume of water, flooding extensive adjacent floodplains for 4-7 months. At this point, instead of overflowing its backs, its floodwaters reserve the flow of the Tonle Sap River (about 120 km in length), which then has the maximum inflow rate of 1 1.8m/s and enters the Grate Lake, the largest natural lake in Southeast Asia, increasing the size of the lake from about 2,600 km2 to 10,00 km2 and exceptionally to 13,000 km2 and raising the water level by an average 7m at the height of the flooding. This specificity of the Tonle Sap makes it the only “river with return ” in the world.

After the Mekong’s water crest (when its downstream channels can handle the volume of water), the flow reverses and water flows out of the engorged lake. The Great Lake then acts as a natural flood retention basin. When the floods subside, water starts flowing out of the Great Lake, reaching a maximum outflow rate of 2.0m/s and, over the dry season, increase mainstream flows by about 16 percent, thus helping to reduce salinity intrusion in the lower Mekong Delta in Viet Nam. By the time the lake water level drops to its minimal surface area size, a band 20-30 km wide of inundate forest is remaining dried out with deposits of a fresh coating of sediment. This forest, which is definitely of great significance for seafood, is now greatly low in size through salvation and deforestation. The region flood around Phnom Penh and right down to the Vietnamese border is approximately 7,000 km2.