Geography of Malta

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Satellite image of Malta Satelite image of Malta.jpg
Satellite image of Malta
Map of Malta 2.png
Enlargeable, detailed map of Malta Malta2021OSM.png
Enlargeable, detailed map of Malta

The geography of Malta is dominated by water. Malta is an archipelago of coralline limestone, located in the Mediterranean Sea, 81 kilometres south of Sicily, Italy, [1] and nearly 300 km north (Libya) and northeast (Tunisia) of Africa. Although Malta is situated in Southern Europe, it is located farther south than Tunis, capital of Tunisia, Algiers, capital of Algeria, Tangier in Morocco and also Aleppo in Syria, and Mosul in Iraq in the Middle East. Only the three largest islands Malta, Gozo and Comino are inhabited. Other (uninhabited) islands are: Cominotto, Filfla and the St.Paul's Islands. The country is approximately 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in area. Numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands provide harbours. The landscape of the islands is characterised by high hills with terraced fields. The highest point, at 253 metres, Ta' Zuta on mainland Malta. The capital is Valletta.

Contents

Geographic coordinates: 35°50′N14°35′E / 35.833°N 14.583°E / 35.833; 14.583

Statistics

Malta has a total area of 315.718 km2, [2] with land making up 315.718 km2 and water taking up zero area. Compared to other political entities, this makes Malta:

Excluding 56 km from the island of Gozo, Malta has a coastline of 196.8 km. Its maritime claims of territorial sea are 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi), contiguous zone is 24  nmi (44.4 km; 27.6 mi), continental shelf is 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation, and Malta's exclusive fishing zone spans 25 nmi (46.3 km; 28.8 mi).

Islands

NameAreaNote/
coordinates
Image
Malta Island 246 km² [2] Malta ali 2009224 lrg.jpg
Gozo
(Għawdex)
67.1 km² [2] Sudika Ghawdex.jpg
Comino
(Kemmuna)
2.8 km² [2] Sudika Kemmuna.jpg
Manoel Island
(Il-Gżira Manoel)
0.3 km² Aerial view of Manoel Island.jpg
St Paul's Islands
(Il-Gżejjer ta' San Pawl)
0.101 km² [2] Selmunett Island.jpg
Cominotto
(Kemmunett)
0.099 km² [3] Malta - Ghajnsielem - Cominotto + Blue Lagoon (Comino) 03 ies.jpg
Filfla (and Filfoletta)0.020 km² [2] Filfla 1.jpg
Fungus Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Ġeneral)
0.007 km² [2] Fungus rock.JPG
Ħalfa Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Ħalfa)
0.0050 km² [4] [5] Situated near Gozo. In the island there is 4 to 5 metres deep water rock pool just 2 metres above sea level, possibly man made due to its perfectly round shape. There is also an underground fresh water system which emerges from a small cave. Most of the plants occurs on the western part of the island. Crucianella rupestris, Anthrocnemum macrostachyum, Lygeum spartum, Convolvulus oleifolius, Thymbra capitata, Teucrium fruticans, Allium melitense, Anacamptis urvilleana, Bromus madritensis, Capparis spinosa, Echium parviflorum, Pallenis spinosa, Plantago lagopus, Trachynia distachya, Urginea pancration. [3] Gebla tal Halfa1.jpg
Old Battery's Rock
(Ġebla ta' taħt il-Batterija)
Situated on the southeast of Comino. Flora consisted of 22 individuals of Inula crithmoides (2010). [3]
Lantern Point Rock
(Ġebla Tal-Ponta Rqiqa)
Situated near Comino. [3] Live here two species of plants: Limonium melitense and Inula crithmoides. It has a height of 7 meters. [6] Malta - Ghajnsielem - Lantern Point Rock (Comino) 01 ies.jpg
Large Blue Lagoon Rock In island, there is a cave. Species of plants: Hypericium aegypticum, Daucus carota, Convolvulus oleifolius, Darniella melitensis, Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Senecio bicolor. [3] View-Gozo-DSC 0156.jpg
Small Blue Lagoon Rocks Situated between Large Blue Lagoon and Cominotto. Species of plants: Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Daucus carota, Lygeum spartum, Lavatera arborea. [3] Malta - Ghajnsielem - Small Blue Lagoon Rock (Comino) 01 ies.jpg
Devil's End Rock
(Il-Ġebla tax-Xifer l-Infern) [3]
Situated near main island, Delimara point. Delimara Point Nov 2014 03.JPG
Għallis Rocks [3] Malta - Naxxar - Ghallis Rocks 01 ies.jpg
Taċ-Ċawl Rock
(Il-Ġebla taċ-Ċawl)
Situated near Gozo. The flora consisted of Lygeum spartum, Asphodelus aestivus, Crithmum maritimum, Cichorium spinosum, Crucianella rupestrisis, Opuntia, Thymbra capitata, Euphorbia melitensis, Foeniculum vulgare, Allium commutatum, Allium lajoconoi, Bromus madritensis, Capparis spinosa, Gynandriris sisirynchium, Pistacia lentiscus, Phagnalon graceum, Sedum litoreum, Sonchus tenerrimus, Trachynia distachya, Valantia muralis. [3]
Cheirolophus Rock
(Ħaġra tas-Sajjetta)
Situated near main island. It has a height of 9 to 12 meters high at its highest point. Species of plants: Darniella melitensis, Crithmum maritimum, Cheirolophus crassifolius, Inula crithmoides, Limonium virgatum, Daucus carota, Cheirolophus crassifolius. [3]
Barbaganni RockSituated near Gozo. No soil exists on the islet because island is inundated by water wave action during rough weather. The flora consisted of only 14 individuals of Inula crithmoides (2010). [3]
Crocodile Rock & Bear rocks
(Il-Ġebla tal-Baqra u il-Ġebel tal-Orsijiet)
Near Gozo, three rocks in total. [3]
Qawra Point
(Ta' Fra Ben islet, Il-Ponta jew Ras il- Qawra)
Situated near main island. The western part is littered with small boulders, while much of the vegetation occurs in the middle part of the islet. In island there is sea cave occurs as a big hole in the middle of the islet. Species of plants: Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Anthemis urvilleana, Inula crithmoides, Lotus cystisoides, Limonium, Sporbolus pungens. [3] Malta - St. Paul's Bay - Triq it-Trunciera - Ras il-Qawra + peninsula 02 ies.jpg
Comino Cliff Face Rock
(Ta' Taħt il-Mazz Rock)
Situated near Comino. The island is very steep - cliffs. The majority of species of plants occur on its west side, while only one species of plant inhabits its east side. Species of plants: Matthiola incana, Inula crithmoides, Darniella melitensis, Daucus carota, Limonium melitensis, Anthyllis hermanniae, Pistacia lentiscus. [3]
Xrobb l-Għaġin Rock
(It-Taqtiegħa) [3]
Fessej Rock
(Il-Ġebla tal-Fessej) [3] [7]
Islet as viewed by the Mgarr ix-Xini Tower.jpeg
Għemieri Rocks
(L-iskolli tal-Għemieri) [3]
Ħnejja Rocks
(Ġebel tal-Ħnejja) [3]
White Rock / Blue Islets (Rocks)
(Ġebla tal-Għar Qawqla) [3]
Marsalforn Rock Formation.jpg

Climate

Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

Elevation extremes

The lowest point is the Mediterranean Sea at 0 m and the highest point is Ta' Dmejrek at 253 m.

Land use

Irrigated land

32 km2 (2007)

Total renewable water resources

A fresh-water spring, Ghajn Bierda, at Ras ir-Raheb Ghajn Bierda (12524091145).jpg
A fresh-water spring, Għajn Bierda, at Ras ir-Raħeb

0.05 km3 (2011)

Environment

Current issues

Limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination.

International Agreements

signed, but not ratified:

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Malta (island) Largest island of the nation of Malta

Malta is the largest of the three major islands that constitute the Maltese archipelago. It is sometimes referred to as Valletta for statistical purposes to distinguish the main island from the entire country. Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea directly south of Italy and north of Libya. The island is 27 kilometres (17 mi) long and 14.5 kilometres (9 mi) wide, with a total area of 246 square kilometres (95 sq mi). The capital is Valletta, while the largest locality is Saint Paul's Bay. The island is made up of many small towns, which together form one larger urban zone with a population of 409,259. The landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields.

Filfla

Filfla is a small, mostly barren, uninhabited islet 4.5 kilometres south of Malta, and is the most southerly point of the Maltese Archipelago. filflu, a small rocky islet some 101 metres southwest of Filfla, has the southernmost point of Malta. The name is believed to come from felfel, the Arabic for a peppercorn.

Comino Maltese island

Comino, formerly called Ephaestia is a small island of the Maltese archipelago between the islands of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean Sea, measuring 3.5 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi) in area. Named after the cumin seed that once flourished in the Maltese islands, the island is the least densely populated area in the Republic of Malta. It has a permanent population of only two residents, following the deaths of two other residents in 2017 and 2020. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Għajnsielem, in southeastern Gozo. One priest and one policeman commute from the nearby island of Gozo. The island is a bird sanctuary and nature reserve.

St. Pauls Bay Local council in Northern Region, Malta

Saint Paul's Bay is a town in the Northern Region of Malta, sixteen kilometres northwest of the capital Valletta. Saint Paul's Bay is the largest town in the Northern Region and the seat of the Northern Regional Committee along with being the most populous town in Malta.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo

The Diocese of Gozo , is a Latin bishopric (diocese) of the Catholic Church in Malta, and the only suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Malta, together covering the insular state.

Districts of Malta

Malta is subdivided in districts of localities in order to administer the country in regions rather than locality. The districts have no administrative significance as the local councils provide the first-tier divisions of the country.

Coastline of Malta

The coastline of Malta consists of bays, sandy beaches, creeks, harbours, small villages, cities, cliffs, valleys, and other interesting sites. Here, there is a list of these different natural features that are found around the coast of Malta.

Filfola lizard

The filfola lizard or Maltese wall lizard is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. It is found in Italy and in the island group of Malta. Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, rocky shores, arable land, pastureland, and rural gardens.

Maltese freshwater crab

The Maltese freshwater crab is a subspecies of freshwater crab, endemic to certain areas within the Maltese Islands. It is very rare and its numbers have been decreasing in recent years.

Outline of Malta Overview of and topical guide to Malta

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Malta:

Blue Grotto (Malta)

The Blue Grotto refers to a number of sea caverns on the south east coast of Malta, a short distance off the fishermen's harbour of Wied iż-Żurrieq limits of Qrendi, Malta

The Gozo Channel is short stretch of Mediterranean Sea separating the Maltese island of Gozo from the northern tip of Malta.

Gozo Region Region of Malta in Gozo and Comino

Gozo Region is one of five regions of Malta. The region includes the islands of Gozo, Comino and several little islets such as Cominotto. The region does not border with any other regions, but it is close to the Northern Region.

Il-Kullana to tal-Ġifen Cliffs Important Bird Area

The il-Kullana to tal-Ġifen Cliffs Important Bird Area comprises a 47 ha linear strip of cliffed coastline on the southern coast of the main island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. The cliffs lie within the limits of Rabat, Dingli and Siġġiewi, and include the Dingli Cliffs. The steep and rugged cliffs rise from sea level to a height of over 100 m. It was identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports 500–1000 breeding pairs of Cory's shearwaters and 100–200 pairs of yelkouan shearwaters.

The iċ-Ċnus to tal-Bardan Cliffs Important Bird Area comprises a 19 ha linear strip of cliffed coastline at Munxar and Sannat, on the southern coast of the island of Gozo, in the Maltese archipelago of the Mediterranean Sea. Its steep and rugged cliffs rise from sea level to a height of 128 m. It was identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports 30 breeding pairs of yelkouan shearwaters.

Rdum Tal-Madonna Important Bird Area

The Rdum tal-Madonna Important Bird Area comprises a 4 ha linear strip of cliffed coastline about 200 m long near L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa, at the north-western end of the island of Malta, in the Maltese archipelago of the Mediterranean Sea. Its rugged cliffs rise from sea level, where there is much rock debris, to a height of 25 m. It was identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports 500 breeding pairs of yelkouan shearwaters.

The Malta–Gozo Channel Important Bird Area lies in the Maltese archipelago of the Mediterranean Sea. It encompasses some 123 km2 of the Gozo Channel, between the islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the waters up to 7 km offshore from Rdum Tal-Madonna in Malta to the east and immediately offshore from Ta' Ċenċ Cliffs in Gozo to the west. It was identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports about 1300 breeding pairs of Cory's shearwaters and 600–1000 pairs of yelkouan shearwaters, as well as up to 1000 ferruginous ducks on passage during the migration season.

Ħalfa Rock

Ħalfa Rock(Maltese: Il-Ġebla tal-Ħalfaor Il-Blata tal-Ħalfa) is a deserted small islet and limestone rock on the south-east coast of the island of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago. The small islet is typified by a small maritime labiate garrigue environment, with germander and prasium shrubs, with the occurrence of the endemic Maltese Pyramidal Orchid as well as endemic coastal communities based on the Maltese Sea-Lavender and the sub-endemic Maltese Crosswort.

Geology of Malta

The Geology of Malta consists of a sequence of sedimentary rocks of late Oligocene to late Miocene age cut through by a set of extensional faults of Pliocene age.

References

  1. From Żebbuġ in Malta, coordinates: 36°04'48.2"N 14°15'06.7"E to Cava d'Aliga (Scicli) in Italy, coordinates: 36°43'22.5"N 14°41'10.9"E – Google Maps
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 State of the Environment Report for Malta 1998 Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 "Topography and Flora of the Satellite islets surrounding the Maltese Archipelago" - Arnold Sciberras, Jeffrey Sciberras, 2010
  4. Il-Gebla tal-Halfa - Malta Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA)
  5. Site factsheet for Il-Gebla tal-Halfa - EUNIS
  6. "A contribution to the knowledge of the terrestrial Mammalian fauna of Comino and its satellite islets (Maltese Archipelago)" - Biodiversity Journal, 2012, 3 (3): 191-200
  7. Caruana, Joseph (2011). "Toponomi t'Għajnsielem (1)" (PDF). L-Imnara. Rivista tal-Għaqda Maltija tal-Folklor. 9 (4): 189. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2016.