This page shows the value of the Terrain information field for all countries in the Country Guide.

Notes on this field are available at the Information Field Notes page.


mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest


mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast


mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

American Samoa

five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)


rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys


narrow coastal plain rises abruptly to vast interior plateau


flat and low-lying island of coral and limestone


about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to 5,140 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent

Antigua and Barbuda

mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas

Arctic Ocean

central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that averages about 3 meters in thickness, although pressure ridges may be three times that size; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera, Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)


rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border


Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley


flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

low with sand and coral

Atlantic Ocean

surface usually covered with sea ice in Labrador Sea, Denmark Strait, and Baltic Sea from October to June; clockwise warm-water gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in the northern Atlantic, counterclockwise warm-water gyre in the southern Atlantic; the ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic basin


mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast


in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping


large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Bahamas, The

long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills


mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Baker Island

low, nearly level coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef


mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast


relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region

Bassas da India

volcanic rock


generally flat and contains much marshland


flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast


flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south


mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains


low hills separated by fertile depressions


mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna


rugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin

Bosnia and Herzegovina

mountains and valleys


predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Bouvet Island

volcanic; maximum elevation about 800 m; coast is mostly inaccessible


mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

British Indian Ocean Territory

flat and low (most areas do not exceed four meters in elevation)

British Virgin Islands

coral islands relatively flat; volcanic islands steep, hilly


flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west


mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Burkina Faso

mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast


hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains


mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north


diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north


mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Cape Verde

steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic

Cayman Islands

low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Central African Republic

vast, flat to rolling, monotonous plateau; scattered hills in northeast and southwest


broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south


low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east


mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Christmas Island

steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau

Clipperton Island

coral atoll

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

flat, low-lying coral atolls


flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains


volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east

Congo, Republic of the

coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin

Cook Islands

low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Coral Sea Islands

sand and coral reefs and islands (or cays)

Costa Rica

coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

Cote d'Ivoire

mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest


geographically diverse; flat plains along Hungarian border, low mountains and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands


mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast


central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast

Czech Republic

Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country


low and flat to gently rolling plains


coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains


rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Dominican Republic

rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed


coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)


vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta

El Salvador

mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Equatorial Guinea

coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic


dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains


marshy, lowlands


high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley

Europa Island

low and flat

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains

Faroe Islands

rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast


mostly mountains of volcanic origin


mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills


mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east

French Guiana

low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains

French Polynesia

mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs

French Southern and Antarctic Lands



narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south

Gambia, The

flood plain of the Gambia river flanked by some low hills

Gaza Strip

flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain


largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet'is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland


lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south


mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area


a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar

Glorioso Islands

low and flat


mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands


flat to gradually sloping icecap covers all but a narrow, mountainous, barren, rocky coast


volcanic in origin with central mountains


Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin


volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs; relatively flat coralline limestone plateau (source of most fresh water), with steep coastal cliffs and narrow coastal plains in north, low-rising hills in center, mountains in south


mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)


mostly level with low hills in southwest


generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior


mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east


mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south


mostly rough and mountainous

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Heard Island - bleak and mountainous, with a quiescent volcano; McDonald Islands - small and rocky

Holy See (Vatican City)

low hill


mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains

Hong Kong

hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north

Howland Island

low-lying, nearly level, sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef; depressed central area


mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border


mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords


upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Indian Ocean

surface dominated by counterclockwise gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in the southern Indian Ocean; unique reversal of surface currents in the northern Indian Ocean; low atmospheric pressure over southwest Asia from hot, rising, summer air results in the southwest monsoon and southwest-to-northeast winds and currents, while high pressure over northern Asia from cold, falling, winter air results in the northeast monsoon and northeast-to-southwest winds and currents; ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge and subdivided by the Southeast Indian Ocean Ridge, Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge, and Ninetyeast Ridge


mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains


rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts


mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey


mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast


Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley


mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands


mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Jan Mayen

volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers


mostly rugged and mountainous

Jarvis Island

sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef


gently rolling plain with low, rugged hills along north coast

Johnston Atoll

mostly flat


mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River

Juan de Nova Island

low and flat


extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia


low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west

Kingman Reef

low and nearly level


mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs

Korea, North

mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east

Korea, South

mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south


flat to slightly undulating desert plain


peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation


mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus


low plain


narrow coastal plain; Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains


mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains


mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast


mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions


mostly mountainous (Alps) with Rhine Valley in western third


lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil


mostly gently rolling uplands with broad, shallow valleys; uplands to slightly mountainous in the north; steep slope down to Moselle flood plain in the southeast


generally flat

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

mountainous territory covered with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River


narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center


narrow elongated plateau with rolling plains, rounded hills, some mountains


coastal plains rising to hills and mountains


flat, with white sandy beaches


mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast


mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs

Man, Isle of

hills in north and south bisected by central valley

Marshall Islands

low coral limestone and sand islands


mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano


mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills


small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau


generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks


high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

Micronesia, Federated States of

islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Truk

Midway Islands

low, nearly level


rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea


hilly, rugged, rocky


vast semidesert and desert plains; mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in southeast


volcanic islands, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland


northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains


mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west


central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands


mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east


sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center

Navassa Island

raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)


Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north


mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast

Netherlands Antilles

generally hilly, volcanic interiors

New Caledonia

coastal plains with interior mountains

New Zealand

predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains


extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes


predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north


southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north


steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau

Norfolk Island

volcanic formation with mostly rolling plains

Northern Mariana Islands

southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic


glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north


vast central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south

Pacific Ocean

surface currents in the northern Pacific are dominated by a clockwise, warm-water gyre (broad circular system of currents) and in the southern Pacific by a counterclockwise, cool-water gyre; in the northern Pacific, sea ice forms in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk in winter; in the southern Pacific, sea ice from Antarctica reaches its northernmost extent in October; the ocean floor in the eastern Pacific is dominated by the East Pacific Rise, while the western Pacific is dissected by deep trenches, including the Mariana Trench, which is the world's deepest


flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west


varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Palmyra Atoll

very low


interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills

Papua New Guinea

mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Paracel Islands



grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere


western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)


mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Pitcairn Islands

rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs


mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border


mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

Puerto Rico

mostly mountains, with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas


mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel


mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast


central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps


broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions


mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east

Saint Helena

Saint Helena - rugged, volcanic; small scattered plateaus and plains (Note: the other islands of the group have a volcanic origin)

Saint Kitts and Nevis

volcanic with mountainous interiors

Saint Lucia

volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

mostly barren rock

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

volcanic, mountainous


narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior

San Marino

rugged mountains

Sao Tome and Principe

volcanic, mountainous

Saudi Arabia

mostly uninhabited, sandy desert


generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Serbia and Montenegro

extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills; to the southwest, extremely high shoreline with no islands off the coast


Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Sierra Leone

coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east


lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve


rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south


a short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountain and valleys with numerous rivers to the east

Solomon Islands

mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls


mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

South Africa

vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

most of the islands, rising steeply from the sea, are rugged and mountainous; South Georgia is largely barren and has steep, glacier-covered mountains; the South Sandwich Islands are of volcanic origin with some active volcanoes

Southern Ocean

the Southern Ocean is deep, 4,000 to 5,000 meters over most of its extent with only limited areas of shallow water; the antarctic continental shelf is generally narrow and unusually deep - its edge lying at depths of 400 to 800 meters (the global mean is 133 meters); the Antarctic ice pack grows from an average minimum of 2.6 million square kilometers in March to about 18.8 million square kilometers in September, better than a sevenfold increase in area; the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (21,000 km in length) moves perpetually eastward; it is the world's largest ocean current, transporting 130 million cubic meters of water per second - 100 times the flow of all the world's rivers


large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north

Spratly Islands


Sri Lanka

mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior


generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in east and west


mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps


wild, rugged mountains; much of high land ice covered; west coast clear of ice about one-half of the year; fjords along west and north coasts


mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains


mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west


mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes


primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west


eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west


Pamir and Alay mountains dominate landscape; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest


plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south


central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere


gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes


low-lying coral atolls enclosing large lagoons


most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Trinidad and Tobago

mostly plains with some hills and low mountains

Tromelin Island

low, flat, and sandy


mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara


mostly mountains; narrow coastal plain; high central plateau (Anatolia)


flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west

Turks and Caicos Islands

low, flat limestone; extensive marshes and mangrove swamps


very low-lying and narrow coral atolls


mostly plateau with rim of mountains


most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south

United Arab Emirates

flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east

United Kingdom

mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast

United States

vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii


mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland


mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Sirdaryo (Syr Darya), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west


mostly mountains of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains


Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast


low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Virgin Islands

mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land

Wake Island

atoll of three coral islands built up on an underwater volcano; central lagoon is former crater, islands are part of the rim

Wallis and Futuna

volcanic origin; low hills

West Bank

mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west, but barren in east

Western Sahara

mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast


the greatest ocean depth is the Mariana Trench at 10,924 m in the Pacific Ocean


narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula


mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains


mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east

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