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Washington Geography

Washington DC is located at 38°53′42″N, 77°02′11″W (the coordinates of the Zero Milestone, on the Ellipse).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 68.3 square miles (177.0 km²). 61.4 square miles (159.0 km²) of it is land and 6.9 square miles (18.0 km²) of it (10.16%) is water.

Washington DC is surrounded by the states of Maryland (on its southeast, northeast and northwest sides) and Virginia (on its western side).

It interrupts those states' common border, which is the Potomac River's southern shore both upstream and downstream from DC. The Potomac River as it passes Washington DC is virtually entirely within the DC border because of colonial riparian rights between Maryland and Virginia.

DC has three major natural flowing streams: the Potomac River, the Anacostia River and Rock Creek. The Anacostia River and Rock Creek are tributaries of the Potomac River. There are also three man-made: Dalecarlia Reservoir, which crosses over the northwest border of the District from Maryland; McMillan Reservoir near Howard University; and Georgetown Reservoir upstream of Georgetown.

The highest point in DC is 410 feet (125 m) above sea level at Tenleytown. The lowest point is sea level, which occurs along all of the Anacostia shore and all of the Potomac shore except the uppermost portion (the Little Falls-Chain Bridge area). The sea level Tidal Basin rose eleven feet during Hurricane Isabel on September 18, 2003.

The geographic centre of DC is located near 4th Street NW, L Street NW and New York Avenue NW (not under the Capitol Dome, as is sometimes said).

Geographical features of Washington DC include Theodore Roosevelt Island, Columbia Island, the Three Sisters Islands and Hains Point.





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