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40th Parallel North

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Title: 40th Parallel North  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Soviet submarine K-129 (1960), Baseline (surveying), Nebraska, 39th parallel north, Horse latitudes
Collection: Borders of Kansas, Borders of Nebraska, Geographic History of the United States, Lines of Latitude
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

40th Parallel North

Line across the Earth
40th parallel north

The 40th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 40 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours, 1 minute during the summer solstice and 9 hours, 20 minutes during the winter solstice.[1] On 21 June, the maximum altitude of the sun is 73.83 degrees and 26.17 degrees on 21 December.


  • Around the world 1
  • United States 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Around the world

Starting in Spain at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 40° north passes through:

Co-ordinates Country, territory or sea Notes
 Spain Valencian Community
Mediterranean Sea Passing just north of the island of Majorca,  Spain
 Spain Island of Minorca
Mediterranean Sea
 Italy Island of Sardinia
Mediterranean Sea Tyrrhenian Sea
Mediterranean Sea Gulf of Policastro
Mediterranean Sea Gulf of Taranto
 Italy Apulia
Mediterranean Sea Strait of Otranto
Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
 Greece Kassandra and Sithonia
Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
 Greece Island of Lemnos
Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
 Turkey Passing just north of Ankara
 Azerbaijan Passing through Nagorno-Karabakh
Caspian Sea
 Tajikistan For about 9 km
 Uzbekistan Sokh exclave - for about 7 km
 Uzbekistan Shohimardon exclave - for about 4 km
 People's Republic of China Xinjiang
Inner Mongolia
Beijing (passing just north of the city centre)
Liaoning (for about 8 km)
Pacific Ocean Liaodong Bay, Yellow Sea
 People's Republic of China Liaoning (Liaodong Peninsula)
 North Korea North Pyeongan Province
Jagang Province
Yanggang Province
South Hamgyeong Province
Pacific Ocean Sea of Japan
 North Korea Mayang Island
Pacific Ocean Sea of Japan
 Japan Island of Honshū
Akita Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
Pacific Ocean
 United States California
Nebraska / Kansas border
West Virginia
New Jersey
Atlantic Ocean Passing just north of Corvo Island, Azores,  Portugal
 Spain Extremadura
Castile-La Mancha
Community of Madrid - for about 10 km
Castile-La Mancha
Valencian Community - Rincón de Ademuz exclave, for about 4 km
Castile-La Mancha - for about 5 km
Valencian Community

United States

The 40th parallel defines the border between Nebraska and Kansas.
Survey marker on the Kansas/Nebraska state line

The parallel 40° north forms the boundary between the states of Kansas and Nebraska. On 30 May 1854, the Kansas–Nebraska Act created the Territory of Kansas and the Territory of Nebraska divided by the parallel 40° north. Both territories were required to determine for themselves whether to permit slavery. Open conflict between free-state and pro-slavery forces in the Kansas Territory was one of the root causes of the American Civil War.

The parallel 40° north formed the original northern boundary of the British Colony of Maryland. A subsequent royal grant gave the Colony of Pennsylvania land north of the 40th parallel but mistakenly assumed it would intersect the Twelve Mile Circle, which it does not. Pennsylvania's border was thus unclear and the colony pushed for a border far south of the 40th parallel. The Mason–Dixon Line was drawn between 1763 and 1767 as the compromise boundary between the overlapping claims of these two colonies.

The parallel 40° north passes through the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Ohio; as well as northern suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana and Denver, Colorado. The parallel goes directly through the Port Columbus International Airport, with runway 10L-28R lying immediately north of the line, runway 10R-28L lying slightly south of it, and the line going through the northernmost edges of the terminal. It also passes through the main campus of The Ohio State University; specifically, it cuts directly across the Oval greenspace, between University Hall and the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.

Baseline Road in Boulder, Colorado traces the parallel 40° north.

Thistle, Utah, a ghost town since 1983, is slightly (30 seconds) below 40° north.

See also


  1. ^
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