The Republic of Uzbekistan, located in Central Asia, is bordered on the west and north by Kazakhstan, on the east by Kyrgyzstan, on the south-east by Tajikistan and on the south by Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its area is about 447 400 km2.
About 80 percent of the country is steppe and desert. The vast Kyzylkum desert lies in central Uzbekistan. Across west central Uzbekistan is a vast area of flat plains called the Turan Plain, while additional plains lie south and east of the Kyzylkum. The extreme western portion of the country is occupied by the Ustyurt plateau, an elevated plain with some small mountain ridges and abrupt edges. Uzbekistan´s most densely populated region is the Fergana Valley in the east. The valley receives its water from mountains of the Tian Shan range that surround it.
Mountains dominate the landscape in the east and north-east. Several branches of the western Tien Shan and Pamirs-Alai mountain ranges cross into Uzbekistan from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with some peaks reaching above 4 000 m. Areas of eastern Uzbekistan are especially prone to earthquakes.
Uzbekistan generally lies between the two largest rivers of Central Asia, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. These two roughly parallel rivers both have their headwaters in the mountains east of Uzbekistan and follow north-westerly courses to the Aral Sea. Another important river is the Zeravshan, which flows westward from the mountains of Tajikistan through east central Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan has a harsh continental climate with four distinct seasons and seasonal and diurnal extremes of temperature. Summer temperatures in southern Uzbekistan may reach 45° C while in the north winter temperatures may drop to -37° C. Average daily temperatures in January range from -6° to 2° C and in July from 26° to 32° C. Precipitation is sparse, less than 200 mm a year for most of the country, less than 500 mm in the mountains.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.