Austria (GPS: 47 20 N, 13 20 E) located in Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia. The country’s area measurements are total: 83,871 sq km; land: 82,445 sq km, water: 1,426 sq km. This sovereign state is about the size of South Carolina, slightly more than two-thirds the Pennsylvania size. The total irrigated land is 1,170 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Austria: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys. The principal river is the Danube. The population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere. The world’s largest and longest ice cave system at 42 km (26 mi) is the Eisriesenwelt (Ice Giants World) inside the Hochkogel mountain near Werfen, about 40 km south Salzburg. Ice caves are bedrock caves that contain year-round ice formations. They differ from glacial caves, which are transient and are formed by melting ice and flowing water within and under glaciers.